“Rooftop Hudson,” by Bob Bahr, 2018, acrylic, 24 x 30.

I was thrilled when Tony Winters asked if I would like to join him and artist Robin Kappy in an exhibition in the East Village. That neighborhood is in my top 3 in NYC—lively, and still gritty and diverse like much of NYC used to be. But our art is hanging in the lounge area of a theater, and I didn’t know what that would look like.

“G’morning,” by Bob Bahr, 2018, acrylic, 12 x 12.

When Tony and I went to the space to patch the walls and touch up the paint, I got a good sense for the joint. TNC Gallery is in the Theater of the New City, a community theater complex that hosts off-off-Broadway plays ranging from classics from Chekov to radical political pieces from local playwrights. I met Crystal Fields, the woman who has held the whole crazy thing together for 40 years, and immediately loved the vibe of the staff and the building. Shambling, creative, energetic…suddenly things changed from an exhibition in which I felt lucky just to participate, to something really cool  that seems beyond a typical art show.

“Inwood Sunrise,” by Bob Bahr, 2017, acrylic, 26 x 18.

I have 12 pieces in the show, an even dozen that are decidedly uneven–in that some paintings will please some people and others will please a different crowd. There are triangle paintings and quick plein air studies and large atmospheric studio landscapes. It’s a bit varied, but it is an accurate snapshot of where I am currently in my painting. My fellow artists are wonderful friends and better painters than me–so check them out. I wrote about us, here.  I’m goosed for the opening, which is this Tuesday night, March 20, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

“Catherine’s Place,” by Bob Bahr, 2017, acrylic, 14 x 14.

When I mentioned the exhibition to my friend Ray Rizzo, he immediately said he wanted to be a part of it, somehow. This was and is a thrilling prospect. Any project Ray picks up turns out to be unpredictable, creative, and somehow utterly professional while staying in the precarious moment. He will be out of town on Tuesday, so he suggested a closing party. My fellow exhibitors OK’ed the idea, so Ray will be playing some music and doing lord knows what else from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on April 30.

I hope you can come see the show, whether it’s at the opening, the closing, or some time in between. Ω

Theater of the New City, which contains TNC Gallery. 155 First Avenue, NYC