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Art Exhibit in the Clocktower Starts Tonight

Dec. 12, 2012 By Bill Parry

The art group No Longer Empty is putting the finishing touches on its “How Much Do I Owe You’ exhibit, which opens tonight inside the vacant Bank of Manhattan Building (also known as The Clocktower).

The exhibit, which includes 27 artists from 15 countries, has many components to it and it has taken a lot of organization to set up in the empty bank. The exhibit will feature daily events, readings, lectures and workshops.

“When we got here three months ago this place was a wreck,” said Manon Slome, the group’s founder and curator, referring to the old building. “You can’t imagine the amount of dust; it’s been empty since the early 80’s.”

The group transformed the vacant bank into three floors of a site-specific art exhibition.

The clock tower will also come back to life with the work of Seattle’s Chris Jordan. He’ll project images that can be seen from nearby buildings and the subway system at Queensboro Plaza.

This will be the group’s 14th exhibit since 2009 and its first in Queens. “Our last show was in the Bronx and everyone said no one will come,” said Slome. “On opening night 3,000 people showed up.”

Some local youth are also showcasing their work.

Through an association with ArtsConnection, 21 public high school students will have their work displayed in the exhibit—including two Long Island City students.

“They’re being trained to be curators,” said Jodie DiNapoli, the group’s director of programs. “Their art is being displayed with the professional works. It’s really going to stand out on their college application.”

Yiou Chen, a student at Newcomers High School, has a noteworthy piece entitled called “Catish Life,” a charcoal drawing of Times Square.

Canadian artist Paulette Phillips has one of the exhibit’s signature pieces, which is stunning video and sound installation called As Could Be. It was originally shown in Toronto in 2009. “Manon [Slome] heard about it and gave me a call,” said Phillips. “In a lucky coincidence I happened to be in New York City.”

Of the three month process of transforming a long vacant bank into a vibrant art exhibit, Slome said, “I think in my head how things are going to look and sometimes it falls short and other times it defies expectations…This building is alive and I am thrilled.”

Opening night is Wednesday, December 12th from 7-9pm.

Location: The Clocktower is at 29-27 41st Ave.

The exhibit will be open for 3 months

Clocktower (Bank of Manhattan Building)

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