Curated by NoLita participant Rachel Wilkie
27 may 2014 by art:i:curate team
As part of our 'Curated by NoLIta' project, we met with the curators: the people living and working in the neighborhood.
Ky Katrensky met with Fashion Designer, poet and all-round creative Rachel Wilkie.
KK: What does the term "curating" mean to you?
RW: Whilst curating is a subjective role, meaning each curator has their own taste and vision, I believe the responsibility of a curator lies in their knowledge of the art world—its past, present and future—and in bringing contemporary concepts to the audience that are relevant to today’s narrative, today’s society and today’s struggles.
KK: How do you normally take in art?
RW: In silence.
KK: When did you move to NYC?
RW: 7 years ago, to follow my career as a Fashion Designer.
KK: Where did you live before?
RW: I was brought up in Cambridge, England. I spent many years in London, prior to that I was living in Stockholm, and before that Milan.
KK: What sets NoLIta apart from the surrounding neighborhoods?
RW: I think it has a balance of commerce & residential, cafe culture and tree-lined village streets. It’s on the edge of Soho, Little Italy, Chinatown and LES - nestled in the middle. I think all the downtown neighborhoods of NYC are unique and diverse, NoLIta is simply very well situated.
KK: Do you know any of your neighbors?
RW: Yes…well, I used to know my neighbours… Our landlord, like many others, is kicking out tenants and raising the rent beyond reach. This is a very sad state of affairs which is happening all around Manhattan, especially downtown. Over-gentrification of the city is not only damaging to the neighbourhoods, but damaging to the soul of its communities.
KK: Do you hope to connect with your neighbors through this project?
RW: I hope to connect to the creative community.
KK: Are there any notable neighborhood characters?
RW: The recovery center across the street, which works to rehabilitate addicts, is teeming with beautifully eccentric characters. An eyesore to landlords and businesses in the area, they are nevertheless dear to us.
KK: Favorite New York moment?
RW: I left NYC for 6 months to live in Los Angeles. My magic moment was driving 3 weeks across the country, from West to East, newly wed, with my husband by my side as we drove onto Manhattan Island to embark on our new life together.