The preservation of Hip-Hop culture received a major blow Friday (Jan. 11) as noted activist Bill Adler announced plans to close the Eyejammie Fine Arts Gallery after four years of operation.
Adler, the Gallerys founder and curator, cited a lack of funds as the reason behind the closing.
“I’ve had a ball running the Eyejammie gallery for the last four years, but it now looks very much as if I’ll have to shut it down at the end of February,” Adler said via e-mail. “I simply don’t have the money to keep it open.”
Founded in 2003, the Eyejammie Fine Arts Gallery was known for showcasing various sides of Hip-Hop culture through art and photography.
The New York-based gallery has hosted numerous events highlighting the works of painters Jackson Brown and Sacha Jenkins, as well as photographers Michael Benabib, Al Pereira, Ricky Powell and Ernie Paniccioli.
Group shows celebrating legendary rap group Run-DMC, women in Hip-Hop, dancehall reggae, and southern Hip-Hop were also featured.
The Eyejammie gallery served as a vehicle for Adler to spread his love of Hip-Hop culture to the masses.
The former Rush Artist Management and Def Jam Recordings director of publicity worked with an impressive list of artists during his stint at the label, including Kurtis Blow, Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Slick Rick, Public Enemy, Eric B & Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, EPMD, De La Soul and 3rd Bass.
Adler later made his mark in literature with his books Tougher Than Leather: The Rise of Run-DMC and Rap: Portraits and Lyrics of a Generation of Black Rockers.
In recent years, he worked as a producer/writer of the VH1 documentary And You Don’t Stop: 30 Years of Hip-Hop and was instrumental in helping to create the Smithsonian Institutions Hip-Hop collection.
“Hip-Hop music gets all the love in the world, but hiphop as a visual art tends to get overlooked,” Adler said in a previous statement. “I founded Eyejammie to do what I could to correct that imbalance.
Despite plans to close the gallery, Adler remained optimistic as he expressed interest in talking to people, firms or academic institutions that “might be willing to underwrite Eyejammie.
To assist Adler or to make a donation to Eyejammie, visit http://www.eyejammie.com or call : (212) 645-0061