Fulton Art Fair, Inc.
Fulton Art Fair was formed in 1958 for the exhibition, promotion and publication of the fine and performing arts in the City & State of New York, consisting primarily of artists of African American descent; the stimulation and encouragement of community interest in the field of fine and performing arts, the development and achievement of creativity as an expression of the community's status and heritage. Founded by Shirley Hawkins, a Bedford Stuyvesant businesswoman and co-chaired by artists Ernest Crichlow and Jacob Lawrence. The Fair's focus was the presentation and promotion of artistic talents native of Bedford Stuyvesant in an attempt to offset the negative images of the community prevalent in the media at that time. The annual event, held in Fulton Park, is easily accessible by public transit and the Park is handicap accessible. Out of pocket funds from members and the public at large supported the Fair for many years, until Assemblyman Albert Vann offered help in the late 1990s. Through his support, programming and amenities (i.e. Chairs, sound equipment, video access, and advertisement) were easier to obtain and the Fair expanded its services.
One could say that the Fulton Art Fair began the "art explosion" in Bedford Stuyvesant. In 1958 few people knew their neighbors were painters, musicians, performers; most had never been to an art gallery or museum. Today, art galleries, studios, performing art groups abound and collectors of fine artworks are multiplying. We have hope that interest in live performances, too, will be reborn as more people become reacquainted with the excitement of these performances.
Fulton Art Fair continues to promote and publicize the arts. Art is, after all, the audio/visual history of our people and the artists are the storytellers of that history. Fulton Art Fair is a showcase of artists, communicating the stories, sights and sounds of a people's experience from the homeland to their travels across the seas to new lands.
The mission of the Fulton Art Fair, Inc. is to allow established and emerging artist to show their work. We are also making artwork available to our Brooklyn neighbors. We will hold events year-round. The Fulton Art Fair was established in 1958. The Fulton Art Fair, Inc. is a registered 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.
Fulton Art Fair was formed in 1958 for the exhibition, promotion and publication of the fine and performing arts in the City & State of New York, consisting primarily of African American artists and others of the African Diaspora community.
Some of the people who pooled their strengths with funeral director Shirley Hawkins to bring Fulton Art Fair onto the scene were Justice Thomas Russell Jones(retired), author, John O.Killens, Reverend Milton Galamison; Attorney Courtenay I. Wiltshire; former Weeksville Society Director Joan Bacchus Maynard; Olga Maryschuk Kandel; Ernest Crichlow; Jacob Lawrence; Evelyn S. Cohen; W.E.B. Seay; Maurice and Stella Golden, of Boro Hall Mimeo and Others. Their pleasure was doubled as they rubbed shoulders with Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Max Roach, Abby Lincoln, Harold Cumberbatch, Cecil Payne, and other celebrities who walked around Fulton Park admiring the work displayed on the park fencing.
During this time period, the Civil Rights movement was gaining steam and new venues opened up for artists. Several members moved on while several of our elders namely Otto Neals, Emmett Wigglesworth, and Violet Chandler have exhibited the entire 57 years and we thank them all for their unwavering support. Though promoting a market for the artist in the community was one of our goals, we also wished to broaden the public's exposure and stimulate awareness of the various disciplines within the arts and its investment potential.
Today there is the MoCADA museum and myriad art galleries and shops throughout the community. It might be said that Fulton Art Fair planted the seed that blossomed into an explosion of the arts in Bedford Stuyvesant. Fulton Art Fair continues to promote fine art, introduce emerging artists and encourage art education in the community.
Artists are the storytellers of our culture, community and heritage.
The annual historical exhibit is held outdoors in Fulton Park. The park is located in Bedford Stuyvesant a designated landmark section of Brooklyn easily accessible by all modes of public transport.