ArtCrawl Harlem helps to discover hidden artwork

August 4, 2011 7:09:25 PM PDT
Friends called him Romy, but the rest of the world calls him Romare Bearden, a master artist whose works incorporate vibrant elements of the African American experience.

"His work is really stepped in classics, and he used myths and mythologies of different culture and also recognized we had the same within our own culture," said Sherman Edmiston of Essie Green Galleries.

His pieces hang inside Essie Green Galleries, where Bearden served as mentor.

"Bearden really embraced us and really shepherded us through the whole black art scene," Edmiston added.

Bearden's work will prominently be on display this weekend if you hop on a trolley, and hop off at 7 different galleries in Harlem. This year, the annual ArtCrawl features works by Bearden, and others who have followed in his footsteps.

"We have so many galleries in Harlem and I would say people are unaware they exist," said Jacqueline Orange of the ArtCrawl.

In one gallery you will see Bearden's classic creation "The Street" as well as works by other contemporary artists like Leroy Campbell, who incorporated Bearden's signature collage technique in his pieces.

"He has an incredible ability to capture movement and sound and imagery that reflects our wonderful spirit and love and zest for life," said Lisa Hayes of the Strivers Garden Gallery.

Then, once you arrive at The Studio Museum, you'll immediately be drawn to "Conjur Woman", Bearden created it in 1964.

The gallery is also filled with other pieces by artists who have been inspired by Bearden. There's no doubt looking at Allen Stringfellow's work that he admired Bearden.

Bearden would have celebrated his 100th birthday next month. He died in 1988. He was 76 years old.

For more information on Artcrawl Harlem go to