Alice Mizrachi’s “Renaissance Women” sculpture debuts in Manhattan’s Marcus Garvey Park


Artist Alice Mizrachi with her sculpture “Renaissance Women” in Marcus Garvey Park. Photo by Christelo Gérard.

Alice Mizrachi and her father, Jacob, in the early days of Renaissance Women.  Photo by Christelo Gérard.

Alice Mizrachi and her father, Jacob, in the early days of Renaissance Women. Photo by Christelo Gérard.

Artist Alice Mizrachi with her father, Jacob, and mentor Russell Goings.  Photo by Christelo Gérard

Artist Alice Mizrachi with her father, Jacob, and mentor Russell Goings. Photo by Christelo Gérard

Renowned muralist Alice Mizrachi creates a hand-forged steel sculpture, her first, in tribute to the Renaissance women of Harlem.

“For me, it’s so important to have my room in this park, which has such a rich cultural history. I couldn’t ask for a better location. It feels like this is the perfect place for that.

-Alice Mizrachi

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, United States, October 22, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ – The pandemic may have delayed its arrival, but the artist “Renaissance Women” Alice mizrachitribute to the Renaissance women of Harlem, finally made its debut in the famous Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem.

The hand-forged steel sculpture was officially installed on Saturday, September 16, on a grassy meadow near the corner of 124th Street and Fifth Avenue, west of the park’s aquatic center.

“For me, it’s so important to have my room in this park, which has such a rich cultural history,” Mizrachi said. “I couldn’t ask for a better location. It feels like this is the perfect place for that.

The piece evokes the smile of Harlem jazz icon Billie Holiday, but “is representative of all of Harlem Renaissance women, from Zora Neale Hurston to Dorothy West,” Mizrachi said. Fashioned in Mizrachi’s unique line style, it will remain there until August 2022, before being moved to a permanent site.

Mizrachi has found success in other artistic genres – she has designed murals across the United States and for international clients in Amsterdam, Berlin and Tel Aviv. A Christian Siriano Mizrachi jacket and train accessorized for singer Jennifer Nettles was a hit at the 2019 Country Music Association Awards in Nashville.

“Women of the Renaissance” is his first sculpture. Hand-forged from a design by Mizrachi in a foundry in the Hudson Valley, it is painted in silver enamel.

“My dad, Jacob Mizrachi, is an auto bodybuilder and all my life I watched him bend metal, so initially I wanted to be a sculptor,” Mizrachi said. “At (Parsons School of Design) I mainly focused on painting and drawing, but I always had this idea of ​​wanting to develop a sculpture.

“So it’s like a dream come true,” she said. “I feel really good about it.”

Mizrachi attended the ceremony with her father, husband Joel Blenz, brother Eli, sister-in-law Avital, mentor Russell Goings and members of the Harlem Arts Alliance and the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance. A lively jazz quartet provided background music and guests greeted the park’s newest arrival.

“Few women get the recognition they deserve for the role they played during the Harlem Renaissance,” said Valerie Jo Bradley, co-founder and president of the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance. “This statue celebrates the women who helped make the Harlem Renaissance what it was.”

Bradley said the sculpture was part of the Alliance’s Art in the Park program and was the first of a woman to be installed in the 20-acre park, bordered by 124th Street, Mount Morris Park Avenue, Mount Morris Park West and 120th Street. .

“It’s not common to see women portrayed” in public art, said Connie Lee, the past president of the Alliance who met with Mizrachi two years ago to start the project. “It is also not common to see abstract and contemporary 21st century artists doing this work.

“We need more of this type of thing,” Lee said. “Monuments must change; they must be different. We don’t need stifling old statues that no one looks at after three months.

Alliance President Bradley agreed, noting that public art draws people to the park that her group and residents have worked hard over the years to make it safe and accessible.

“At one time nobody walked in this park, and now they do,” Bradley said. “They use it because it’s beautiful. We have a refurbished amphitheater, refurbished fire watchtower, which aims to preserve the history of this neighborhood and this park, which is one of the oldest parks in Manhattan.

“When you have activities that make the park active, you bring people into the park, new users, and that sometimes keeps the bad elements out, which is one of the goals.”

“The Marcus Garvey Alliance is focused not only on activating the park’s culture, but also welcoming people, showing them this gem and collaborating with all kinds of different institutions and artists,” Shawn said. Hill, local resident and co-founder of Greater Harlem Coalition, a collection of over 100 groups that, according to its website, “advocate for a vibrant, tolerant, clean and safe Harlem.”

“There is something for everyone at Marcus Garvey Park, and this organization is helping to keep it alive.”

In 1977, Mount Morris Park was renamed in honor of the famous Harlem resident and president of the United Negro Improvement Association, Marcus Garvey.

While having an idea for the sculpture in 2019, Mizrachi, who taught art at Harlem Village Academy, St. Aloysius School and the famous Studio Museum of Harlem, said it took several months of revisions before the design is finalized. She also had to raise the money for the coin, which was built at a foundry in the Hudson Valley.
Alliance Secretary Carla McIntosh said “Renaissance Women” is a welcome addition to Marcus Garvey Park’s many offerings that she hopes will attract visitors like the swimming pool and other activities, like the popular summer reading circle.

“The park is a place where everyone can come and enjoy an open space,” McIntosh said. “We are also trying to bring art and culture to space. “

“Renaissance Women” has a dual purpose as an installation, she said, because “it is important to have an image that looks like an African American person so that people here can see themselves reflected. in art This piece is general and particular at the same time.

“It appeals to everyone, regardless of their origin. “

Mizrachi said she was thrilled to have taken the advice of her mentor and Studio Museum co-founder, Goings, to continue expanding her repertoire.

“I’m constantly working with Russ to figure out how I can push my limits,” she said. “Being able to exhibit ‘Renaissance Women’ in Marcus Garvey Park is such a great honor. “

To learn more about Alice’s work, check out her on Instagram @am_nyc or on her website, www.alicemizrachi.com.

Clemon Richardson
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