With New Yorkers urged to avoid crowds and museums having closed down because of COVID-19, one option for art lovers needing to get out for a walk in Lower Manhattan is a window display of illustrations by a local artist that is up through the rest of March.
At 160 West Broadway, between Worth and Thomas Streets in Tribeca, paintings by artist John Lloyd are shown in the window of the gallery Tribeca Community on Display, showing buildings and scenes of Lower Manhattan.
Lloyd first explored Lower Manhattan in the 1980s, when he was finishing art school and had a night job in the Financial District.
“In my free time I would explore the Lower Manhattan area and sketch various scenes there and became fascinated by this part of the city,” said Lloyd, who was born in Kyoto, Japan, and grew up in Japan for 12 years.
Lloyd would go on to work in Midtown for many years as a graphic designer, and when the company moved to the Financial District, he explored the area again and discovered new places.
“The changes that had happened over the years were a big surprise,” Lloyd said. “The Downtown had come to life in the form of many new public spaces and gardens all over the place.”
He would find places to sit and draw, and cites unique spots like the park in elevated acre, and the sunny atrium with palm trees at 180 Maiden Lane.
“The variety of the architecture and neighborhoods is amazing,” said Lloyd, “from the remnants of the tenement buildings in the South Street Seaport area to the Gothic Medieval atmosphere around Trinity Church, the gorgeous neoclassical architecture that evokes ancient Athens or Rome in the Financial District and the Municipal Center, the beautiful commercial buildings of Tribeca, the energy of Chinatown, to the theatrical jazz of the Art Deco skyscrapers.”
The paintings on display at 160 West Broadway are mostly acrylic or watercolor on paper, and were done from 2016-2020. During the past four years, working Downtown gave Lloyd the chance to sketch during lunch breaks, he said, along with after work. He would return on weekends to develop his sketches into paintings.
“The contrasting setting of crowded narrow streets with the expansive views at the water’s edge added to my attraction to painting there and after wandering around Downtown for 4 years I am still discovering new places each time,” said Lloyd. He added that the show in 160 West Broadway’s window illustrates “the pleasure I have had in visiting the public spaces, exploring the neighborhoods, and studying the gorgeous architecture of Lower Manhattan.”
More information and artwork can be found at www.johnll.com.