‘Mom & Pop’ Art Installation Underway in Seward Park
Husband-wife chroniclers of New York City storefronts, James & Karla Murray, have begun construction on the new outdoor exhibit for Seward Park that pays homage to disappearing mom-and-pop shops.
“Mom-and-Pops of the L.E.S.” is a bittersweet large-scale public art installation that consists of an 8-foot-high-by-12-foot-wide-by-8-foot-deep rectangular wood-frame. The sculpture includes four nearly-life-size photographs of family-owned businesses, some of which have vanished. They include a bodega, the Cup & Saucer luncheonette, a delicatessen, and a local newsstand.
The Murrays’ project is part of the city’s Art in the Parks UNIQLO Park Expressions Grant Program. A Kickstarter crowdsourcing drive also raised an additional $6,200 (double the initial goal) to help with its construction.
“When viewing the near life-size photographs one can get a visceral sense of the impact of these losses on the community and on those who once depended on the shops that are now gone,” James and Karla Murray noted in the Kickstarter pitch. “The installation is an artistic intervention and a plea for recognition of the unique and irreplaceable contribution made to New York by small, often family-owned businesses. These neighborhood stores help set the pulse, life, and texture of their communities.”
“Mom-and-Pops of the L.E.S.” will remain on display for an entire year – from July 2018 through July 2019.