By artist Vicki DaSilva
By artist Vicki DaSilva



Public Art Intervention

A  North River Arts! Production/Curated By Savona Bailey-McClain

Public Display on May 10, 2014

North Rivers Arts is a public art initiative for the communities of West Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood. Communities along the Hudson River, want to enhance their open public spaces and attract artist locally, regionally and beyond. Northern Manhattan neighborhoods understand the benefits of the “arts” and that it can improve quality of life, local tourism, safety as well as bring beautification.

According to curator, Savona Bailey-McClain, “we can make West Harlem along the Hudson River and underneath the viaduct, a destination for art, food and lifestyle. Artists have been contacted like Vicki DaSilva to work on collaborative or individual projects. We can have a real art scene that’s contemporary and speaks to the issues and concerns of today.”

Vicki DaSilva is a light graffiti and painting pioneer. Since 1980, she has been making single frame time exposure photographs, at night. Vicki is credited with the term “light graffiti” as well as being the first artist to make deliberate text light graffiti photographs. Vicki was influenced by video and performance artist Joan Jonas and then Richard Serra whom she worked with for ten years. Her work with Jonas and Serra, along with the birth of Hip Hop and the fusion of graffiti with fine art was extremely influential in her art.

Vicki, along with her husband Antonio, use 4 and 8-foot fluorescent bulbs attached to a complex system of tracks and pulleys to create her work. Using a camera that allows a ‘bulb’ setting for an extended time while on a tripod, the light source is directed at the camera and then the camera documents the movement of the light.

North River Arts first intervention will be displayed on Saturday, May 10th underneath the 12th Avenue viaduct from 125th Street to 135th Street. REPURPISE is an official event during NYCxDesign and Frieze Week NY.


Savona Bailey-McClain currently lives and works in New York City.  She is an independent curator, producer and preservation advocate. The range of McClain’s practice has included sculpture, drawings, performance, sound, and mixed media. McClain is the Executive Director and Chief Curator for The West Harlem Art Fund, Inc. a sixteen year old public art organization serving neighborhoods around the City. Her public art installations have been seen in the New York Times, Art Daily, Artnet Magazine, Los Angeles Times, DNAinfo and Huffington Post among others. McClain strives for a soulful, meaningful connection with the public and the “arts”. It simply has to be approachable as far as she is concerned. McClain has installed at Times Square, DUMBO, Soho, NoLita, Williamsburg, Governors Island, Queens, Harlem, Chelsea & the Bronx and recently Soho with the new art fair FUSION NY. McClain has a liberal arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh.


The Riverside Drive Viaduct, built in 1900 by the City of New York, is a viaduct constructed to connect an important system of drives in Northern Manhattan, a high-level boulevard extension of Riverside Drive over the barrier of Manhattanville Valley to the former Boulevard Lafayette in West Harlem. May, 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of 125th Street.

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