Getting milit-art! Landlord to decorate with pics by veterans

On their level: Workers Julio Vasquez and Franklin Acosta install a photo.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

A real estate company is decorating its buildings with art by former soldiers.

Urban American, which owns 19 buildings in Brooklyn and 90 across New York City, is launching a program called Reticle to highlight art by veterans. First stop for what it hopes is a proliferation of art across the borough are the walls of a lobby on N. Fifth Street in Williamsburg.

“There are so many amazing artists in the military community, and we want to highlight that,” said James Eisenberg, co-owner of Urban American.

Eisenberg hung photos, including a collage by Afghanistan war veteran Peter Meijer on Thursday, where they will welcome building tenants as well as curious passersby.

“We are trying to stay more community-friendly rather than make a political statement,” said Dan Gorman, who shot photos that are hanging in an Urban American building in Queens. “I want a kid to walk by and wonder where they can find the things in the pictures.”

The name Reticle refers to a kind of sight or scope that is used on military equipment, such as binoculars or guns.

“It relates to this because it is a tool that helps people see,” said Eisenberg. “I hope that is what we are doing too. We want people to understand how talented veterans are.”

Eisenberg said he plans to eventually hang veterans’ art in nearly all of the 19 buildings in Brooklyn and that he will rotate out current artists for newer ones, although he has not yet set a schedule.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.
Photo-realism: Urban American executive James Eisenberg holds up a veteran’s photograph in front of the building where it would be installed.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

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