First Lady Visits the Studio Museum

Photo Courtesy of Michelle Obama On behalf of our entire team at Red Rooster, I would like to thank First Lady Michelle Obama for asking us to be part of the Luncheon on the occasion of the 68th United Nations General Assembly. Even though I personally was unable to attend, it was an honor to have our team welcome the First Lady and her guests to The Studio Museum and share with them the food, the art and the neighborhood that I call home.

As the First Lady mentioned, "This neighborhood is a thread that connects all of us here today, no matter where we’re from or what language we speak," which made for the perfect backdrop for her guests', the spouses from other nations, as they discussed the importance of education.

There was entertainment from Dance Theater of Harlem, music provided by youths from the La Guardia School Arts High School and a performance by Tony Award winner Audra McDonald. It couldn't have been a more perfect afternoon that reminded us all how important our relationships are; both inside and outside of our immediate communities.

With the help of the First Lady, we carefully curated the menu listed below that highlights some of the Red Rooster's favorites as well as items that everyone could enjoy:

Arugula Salad with Roasted apples, Cornbread croutons, Pecans, Chanterelle mushroom vinaigrette

Shrimp and Dirty Rice with Collard Greens, Curry leaves, Pumpkin sauce

Banana Pudding Parfait with Almond cookie, Huckleberry sauce

Special thanks to Thelma Golden and her great Studio Museum team for a memorable and fantastic event.

Weekend Warrior: Free Music, Movies, and a Lot of Ice Cream

Who can resist that? Photo: jasonlam TGIF, and now what? Here's a look at events around New York City that are worth checking out.

All weekend

Restaurant Week continues! Get special dinner menus for $38 and lunch for $25 in restaurants all over the city.

Yes, I'll take a pop-up artisanal food market open Friday through Sunday! Check it out: the Super(Duper)Market hosted by Paper Mag.

Last year's Super Duper Market at Chelsea Market. This year's will be held on Mulberry and Prince.

Friday, 8/2

Don't have HBO? Free Fridays at the Film Society of Lincoln Center will show HBO films (including Behind the Candelabra, Too Big to Fail, and Game Change). And again, for free!

The 35th annual Celebrate Brooklyn! Performance Series at Prospect Park's Bandshell features Jamie Lidell, Dan Deacon and The Stepkids today.

Outdoor movies: Conte D'ÉtéHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneMadagascar 3: Europe's Most WantedNorth of South, West of East, and Young Frankenstein

Saturday, 8/3

It's an Ice Cream Bonanza at The Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg this weekend! Don't miss it before it melts.

From noon to four, check out Village Pourhouse's Beertopia. Admission includes beer samples, a pint of beer, and appetizers.

In its first installment, Summer Streets will close down seven miles of New York's normally-traffic-heavy terrain, and transform it into a pedestrian-friendly zoo of food, activities, and art.

Outdoor movies: The Muppets

Sunday, 8/4

The Studio Museum Harlem offers Target Free Sundays this month with family-friendly programming.

At 3pm, Fulton Stall Market brings in local indie bands to perform in their Sound Bites series.

Starting this sunday, the third annual Art of Brooklyn Film Festival will feature Brooklyn-centric indie films.

Outdoor movies: Pretty in Pink, and The Warriors

Happy weekend!

A New Season at the Studio Museum Harlem

The Fall/Winter season is underway at the Studio Museum, and the Harlem landmark's new exhibitions are most certainly not to be missed. Boldly greeting visitors as they enter the gallery space is Fore, the fourth in the Museum's series highlighting emerging artists of African descent. Covering two floors, the exhibition features various captivating works, such as the vibrant and thought-provoking photographs of Brooklyn-based Narcissister, the gold-leaf embossed still-lifes of the West Coast artist Noah Davis, and the disconcertingly organic sculptures of New York's Kevin Beasley. After witnessing the future of art, guest can experience a more sobering look at it's history in Gordon Parks: a Harlem Family 1967. Featuring images from Parks' photoessay chronicling a year in the life of the Fontanelle family, the exhibition, as the museum itself describes, is a "searing portrait of poverty in the United States." Poignant and simple, these black and white images provide arresting insights into the lived-experiences of a Harlem family.

While few will be in a hurry to leave, as patrons exit they find themselves in front of the Tenth Anniversary Celebration of Harlem Postcards, an on-going project by the Museum commissioning artists to photograph what they experience in Harlem. The results are spectacular images that are both framed to be admired and printed on a series of postcards for guests to take home. (Don't forget to grab your favorite!)


A big thank you to the Museum staff for opening up their galleries to us and our camera. To experience these installations yourself, the Studio Museum is open every Thursday - Sunday. Hours and admission information can be found on their website here.

Photos: Emelyn Rude 

Kwanzaa Celebrations at The Studio Museum

Want to participate in some community activities for Kwanzaa this year? Harlem's Studio Museum is hosting a Kwanzaa day on December 29th, in the spirit of the 6th principle of Kwanzaa, Kuumba, which stands for creativity. On Thursday, the 29th the Studio Museum will be hosting a series of fun and creative activities including scavenger hunts in the Museum galleries, button making, and collage workshops.  The Studio Museum will also offer various giveaways! All of these activities will surely help your creative juices flow to fully emerge in the celebration of Kwanzaa. The Kwanzaa celebration begins at the Studio Museum from 1:00pm-3:00pm. 

Another custom that touches back to African roots, is the tradition of quilting. Going back through generations among African families and African American families (especially during the times of slavery), quilts have had a significant role in representing families, communities, and often times routes towards freedom. Because of this strong connection to African descent, the Studio Museum is also hosting this day in honor of Kwanzaa, a community quilting workshop. Join the quilt and fiber artist Ife Felix in conversation with Faith Ringgold as they explore the history and significance of quilting as a collaborative activity. The quilting workshop will take place after the Kwanzaa celebration on Thursday, December 29th from 4:00pm-6:00pm. 

This first quilting workshop precedes a series of quilting workshops lead by artist Ife Felix during which the whole community can contribute to the quilt being built. If you're interested in participating in the community quilt, here's what to do:

- Select a 5x7" fabric swatch that represents you, your family, or your community - Enclose the swatch in a Ziploc bag with an index card listing the following information:

  • Your name
  • A phone number and/or email address at which you can be reached
  • One or two sentences about the fabric swatch you chose, and how it represents your community

You can deliver your fabric submission in person to the Studio Museum's lobby desk Sunday-Wednesday, 10am-6pm, or Thursday-Friday 10am-9pm.

You may also mail your fabric submission to:

The Studio Museum in Harlem c/o Education Department 144 W125th Street New York, New York 10027

The Studio Museum will be accepting submissions for until this Friday, December 23rd, 2011, so be sure to drop off or mail your fabric swatch as soon as you can. This is a great way to not only celebrate Kwanzaa but to also become a part of a community creative effort, which in itself is what Kwanzaa is all about!

For more information about The Studio Museum, visit their website here. 

Photo: The Confluence

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Spiral: A Timeless Exhibition of the Studio Museum

By: Dylan Rodgers

The history of art is segmented into eras, movements almost themed with particular inspirations.  The Renaissance, the Baroque, the Impressionist movement, and the Fauvist movement are just a few examples.  Sometimes works of art, though chronologically ordered, transcend time.  Sometimes the social implications become eternally relevant; the personal inspirations represent an undercurrent of the collective subconscious that flows through the very essence of humanity.  One such movement in art's history is the work of the Spiral collective.

Spiral was a New York-based group of African-American artists in the 1960s that dealt with civil rights and the shifting structure of American art, culture, and politics. Stylistically working mainly in modernist abstraction, the Spiral artists painted in oils and watercolors and also produced works with collage and printmaking. Their artwork is currently on display at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

The artists of Spiral, ranging from 28 to 65 years old at the time, had varying opinions on the blending of art and politics:  whether or not art should be political and can art not be anything if not political.  The works of Calvin Douglass, Emma Amos, Romare Bearden, and Reginald Gammon, to name a few, show personal accounts, independent vantage points of an American culture in flux.  But by making art from their experience, their internal conversation becomes a social statement.  This connection between the individual and the social is what makes the artwork of Spiral eternally relevant to contemporary artists and observers alike.  The conversation between individual and culture is something to which we can all relate.

The Studio Museum in Harlem is the platform through which American and international artists of African descent showcase their work inspired by black culture. Since 1968, the Studio Museum has welcomed compelling conversation on art and its role in society and has been a catalyst in the promotion and success of black artists.  It's no wonder that one of the most influential movements in African-American art would be exhibited at the Studio Museum.

As we continue to celebrate Harlem Week, we really are celebrating the people of Harlem and Harlem's history.  There are few windows into the Harlem's soul as striking and personally moving as its art.  Spiral will be exhibited at the Studio Museum until October 23.  If you are interested in art, culture, history, or all of the above, don't miss this exhibition.

For all the necessary information from the Studio Museum, click here.

Photo: Enric Archivell