“The collaboration with the House of Art was a no-brainer for us,” NU Hotel General Manager Javier Egipciaco explained. “We saw an opportunity to connect with the community, as the House of Art is based out of Brooklyn… and the caliber of artists that we’re getting now, we wouldn’t have been able to get without them.”
Seventy-five works of art valued at more than $175,000 are currently on display in the hotel’s fourth-floor guest rooms and sidewalk café and bar, according to the House of Art Gallery owner/curator Richard Beavers. The guest rooms feature works by Anton, D. Lammie Hanson, Dan Ericson and Frank Morrison, while the sidewalk café and bar showcases the paintings of Justin Bua.
New York City native Bua has flown in from California, where he now resides, to host the presentation “Justin Bua: Art Reflects Urban Life” at the Nu Hotel’s sidewalk café and bar this Saturday, June 9th. The afternoon will kick off with a workshop for teens led by Bua from 2 pm – 4 pm, which will be followed by a slide show and discussion of the artist’s work at 5 pm. Bua will then sign copies of his most recent book “The Legends of Hip Hop.” A reception to celebrate Bua’s work and the new partnership between the NU Hotel and the House of Art will also take place from 6 – 9 pm. All events are free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required for the evening reception. Reservations for the reception can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Bua is one of the top contemporary artists in the country, so it was only fitting that he be the artist that we feature with this groundbreaking partnership between House of Art Gallery and the NU Hotel Brooklyn,” Beavers noted. “He lives in California now, but his work is inspired and influenced by the Brooklyn culture and the diversity that it offers.”
A former student of Manhattan’s Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, Bua went on to receive his B.F.A. from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. With a varied background that includes writing graffiti and breakdancing, Bua has carved out a fascinating career with projects in fashion, commercial art, education, television and publishing. His paintings currently on display at the NU Hotel all feature portraits of the famous personalities featured in his book “The Legends of Hip Hop,” including New York City icons such as the Beastie Boys, Jay-Z and Run-D.M.C.
Bua is the first in a rotating roster of artists that will be showcased in the NU Hotel’s sidewalk café and bar, according to Beavers, who explained that a new exhibition will open every three months. In addition, more art is on the way to decorate the guest rooms on the hotel’s second and third floors, including works by Jamel Shabazz and Danny Simmons.
“The idea was to show the richness and the diversity and the quality of artwork that we have to offer in the borough of Brooklyn,” Beavers said of the work that has been selected for exhibit in the hotel. “I applaud the staff of NU Hotel for understanding the importance of community and providing this lovely hotel as a backdrop for the artwork to be displayed.”
NU Hotel Brooklyn is located at 85 Smith Street, on the corner of Atlantic Avenue.