SAW was created in 2010 by local artist and business owner John Avelluto (The Owl’s Head Wine Bar) and business owner Heather Hamilton (Long’s Wine & Liquors) as a way to showcase the diverse community of Bay Ridge and give it a unique platform for engagement and dialogue with the visual arts. By supporting and promoting emerging local artists and celebrating local Bay Ridge businesses, SAW broadly explores the intersection between commerce, art and community. While Bay Ridge is home to many artists, the neighborhood is under-served and underfunded in terms of public arts spending and grants.
SAW, an annual event in its 7th year, is sponsored by the 5th Avenue Business Improvement District, Brooklyn Arts Council, Red Hook Winery, Bubbles and Suds Laundromat and SixPoint Brewery. This year there will be fifteen artists working with a variety of visual media to present individual art projects in storefront windows. From 68th Street all the way to 84th Street on 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge, the event will feature artwork as varied as the participating businesses.
The artists were selected by a jury of six based on artistic merit, feasibility, and an ability to successfully engage with the Bay Ridge community. Mollie Flanagan, Program Manager and Curator of The NARS Foundation and one of this year’s jurors, said: "I look forward to seeing the ultimate productions of this diverse group of artists. Creating a unique synergy between the businesses on 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge and Brooklyn artists, SAW is set to bring about another exciting year of site-specific art to the community.”
Each artist will choose a 5th Avenue business and create a unique installation with the particular business in mind. There is no cost to the merchant and the artist will install their own work. Beginning on May 14, 2016 each SAW artist will display in a storefront window so that Bay Ridge residents and visitors alike can enjoy the unique pieces while outside the establishment. Walking maps will be distributed at participating businesses.