Attending an Art Exhibition at NYC’s Fire Museum with My Jr. Firefighter Son by Robin Gorman Newman

My 15 year old son, Seth, has school break this week, and while in the past we have gone away or done a NYC staycation, this year we are home, so I’ve been on the hunt for cool things we might enjoy together.

It’s never been easy I have found, to entertain a boy who isn’t sports-driven, but I pride myself on being resourceful, and somehow always manage to unearth things of interest to him….and the icing on the cake….is when the activity entices me as well.

When I received an invitation to a special art exhibition/reception in NYC at the NYC Fire Museum, I knew it was right up my son’s alley.

Seth is Captain of Junior Firefighters in our town, and the invite was titled — New York’s Bravest Honored in an Upcoming Pop-Up Exhibition by Acclaimed UK Artist, Alexander Millar

Acclaimed UK artist Alexander Millar has created an impressive and heartfelt new body of work that honors the city’s ‘Bravest’ and celebrates the qualities that make them some of the most extraordinary working people on the planet.

Taking inspiration from archive material from the New York City Fire Museum, and the Vulcan Society (a fraternal organization of Black Firefighters), including photographs of the 18th, 19th and 20th century firefighter, Millar has created a collection of portraits and cityscapes that show respect, humor and warmth for the everyday heroes of the city, communicating a strong sense of the people behind the uniforms.

Millar  launched his new collection, Everyday Heroes • NYC, at the New York City Fire Museum on April 3rd….and we were lucky to be in attendance and have an opportunity to meet the artist. Not only are we fans of the museum, having visited before, but we are now fans of Millar.

After a run at the museum through April 6th, the show will transfer to the Millar Fine Art Pop-Up Gallery, in Soho, New York for an expanded exhibition through April 20th, which will bring together critically-acclaimed work from recent years, alongside his new collection inspired by New York and its working people, from the fire department and beyond.

Millar will donate 20% of the profits from sales of one of his new artworks, ‘We Can Be Heroes’, to the city’s Fire Museum and the Vulcan Society.

 “The New York firefighters are an iconic representation of the spirit of New York in many ways, I am in awe of what they gave and the courage they showed during 9/11 and to this day. I wanted to create an exhibition that shows not only a hero, but also a father, brother, son, daughter, mother and sister. I’m honored and humbled that the New York City Fire Museum has welcomed me to showcase my work there,” states Alexander Millar.

(Seth with Alexander Millar)

Alexander Millar is a Scotsman, and friendly guy, who has built his considerable artistic reputation on capturing the spirit and simple humanity of working men and women living in industrial environments in his native UK, in a characteristic style full of warmth and humor.

He has drawn on this background in his attempts to capture the special atmosphere of New York, a city he has long admired and loved. He is a regular attendee at the annual Tartan Week celebrations, which coincide this year with the opening of his exhibition.

The collection includes a commemorative portrait of Wesley A. Williams, the man who became the first African American Battalion Chief in the New York City Fire Department, which Millar presented to the Vulcan Society during the opening night.  In addition, Millar presented the city’s Fire Museum with a painting of unsung hero Walter ‘Wally’ Malone, a former Fire Department lieutenant who volunteered at the museum for many years after 9/11.  The painting of Wally will become a part of the Fire Museum’s permanent collection.

(Opening Night)

“Just as the NYC Fire Museum displays firefighter portraits from the 19th and 20th Centuries, Alexander Millar’s work will be viewed as documenting the FDNY in the 21st Century and will be looked upon with great admiration by past, current and future generations.  We are proud to sponsor his exhibition and we are grateful for his support of our mission to ‘Educate, Celebrate and Preserve.’” – The New York City Fire Museum

“The Vulcan Society is very excited to be a part of this important project.  We are honored that one of our heroes and founder Chief Wesley Williams will be recognized through art to display his greatness.  We are excited to have this realistic image of people of color serving their community and hope that this inspires others to embrace this profession and do the same. – The Vulcan Society

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