Art On Plywood Covering SoHo Businesses To Become ‘A Piece Of History’

Steve Burns
June 20, 2020 - 6:55 pm
Plywood SoHo

Steve Burns/WCBS 880

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Plywood that first went up to deter looting at SoHo business earlier this month became a canvas for artists Saturday as the stores prepare to open their doors when New York City enters Phase 2 of its reopening on Monday.

Loren Abbate painted plywood that was covering up a window of a store on Broadway.

“I'm making artwork that represents universal symbolism of light and hope and healing,” Abbate said.

The plywood, of course, will come down—but the art will live on.

“We hope that this will mark a moment in time, and it'll become a piece of history,” Abbate said.

The local business improvement district, the SoHo Broadway Initiative, is partnering with Westwood Gallery to preserve the plywood artwork.

The executive director of the SoHo Broadway Initiative, Mark Dicus, said the group has made arraignments with several property owners and retailers to save the artwork.

“When they come down, they will contact us and make sure that we can collect them,” Dicus said.

He said there are even talks about an art show featuring the plywood, with proceeds benefiting the artists.

"The moment they feel they want to reopen and they want the boards down, we're asking them to get in touch with us so we can take the boards down," said James Cavello, co-owner of the Westwood Gallery.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said art has the power to bind everyone together, even if the canvas will soon be taken away.

“We want the plywood to go, but first we want the art to exist,” Brewer said.

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