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Downtown Buildings Are Creating Art Spaces — and Some of the Art Comments on Downtown

arts1-1_10-9-14By the end of this week, the new residential high-rise at Eighth and Hope streets downtown will have tintype portraits of its initial residents, and the construction workers who built it, in its collection. Artist Omar Lopez took these in a portable dark room he set up just outside the building, which is dubbed 8th + Hope.

A three-week festival of 10-minute plays organized in the building by the nomadic Chalk Repertory Theatre also will have begun. The audience for playwright Ruth McKee’s “Right to Post” will walk into the lobby and encounter a concierge, an African-American woman about to face an ethical dilemma. A white woman who tutors a resident in the building will rush in, flustered, having just witnessed a disturbing altercation in the street. What should be done? The two women will disagree. When she wrote the piece, McKee was thinking about the effects of gentrification downtown, how so many different strata of people are interacting with one another in ways they haven’t before.

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