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Gallery extends submission deadline to March 7

LAPACAZO SANDOVAL Special to the AmNews | 2/28/2013, 4:30 p.m.
Gallery extends submission deadline to March 7

I'm also hoping the exhibit can serve as a parallel for how "street life" can maintain its essence and spirit while moving away from its more negative associations born of the street, like gang activity, violence and vandalism.

AmNews: What makes "street art" art?

EP: What makes any "art" art is a question that has been struggled with for centuries. Many theories exist around the definition of art, yet there is no universal conclusion on the matter. My thought is that street art came into existence at the moment when graffiti writers started to consider themselves artists. It's not necessarily all good art--in the same way not all paintings or photographs are good art--but it's art nonetheless. However, I do think there is a lot of great street art out there and experimenting with the context of the gallery space is resulting in even more inventive street artworks.

AmNews: Who buys this as an investment? Tell us about buyers, worldwide.

EP: I really don't have much to say about selling and buying art from a personal perspective, since I've only curated in non-profit spaces. From what I read about the art market, I know that serious art buyers are looking for art that will make it into the history books and thus be most valuable. Attraction to artwork that falls within a current trend is in hopes that the trend is one that will end up defining a certain period of time.

I think street art is very attractive to buyers for that reason. This is a moment where art is grappling with social issues, many of which are germane to the urban environment. Street art embodies this social engagement and is thus likely to be seen by many buyers as a defining art form of this era.

As for what individual pieces to purchase within this art trend, there are a myriad of considerations for art buyers varying from personal taste to public prestige.

AmNews: How does an artist make money while pursuing their artistic destiny?

EP: The truth is, very few artists can make a living solely by creating art. However, there are various creative career paths that can capitalize on an artists' skills. At ARTs East New York, we hire teaching artists who make a meaningful impact on the lives of youth in our community through public art projects and art classes. Graphic design is another field that is related to street art in its creative play with the way text looks and its focus on conveying a message. Using the artist in you can be lucrative. You just have to be creative (which you should be already, if you're an artist!).

As I turned to leave the trendy coffee establishment, a decorated, used coffee cup caught my eye. Completed in magic marker colors, I was dumbstruck at the intricate design. It reminded me, instantly, of the commissioned work presented by a spirit company in the 1990s.

I suspect I know the artist and I sincerely hope this message reaches him and many who have the talent and now have an opportunity to share.

The submission deadline has been extended to March 7. The show, which will be curated by Pettersen, will take place at the ARTs East New York gallery space (located at 851 Hegeman Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11208) from April through July.

For further information on the submission process, visit http://artseastny.org or call ARTs East New York at 718-676-6006.