Tito Murphys on Restaurant Row is the first neighborhood business to have its outdoor dining area transformed by art activists from the Neighborhood Curbside Canvas Project.

When Ellen Pomerantz saw city neighborhoods from Tribeca to Brooklyn being transformed, she volunteered to help connect artists and restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen. The first example of that collaboration is the work of local artist Joseph Ricco — and it can be seen on West 46th Street between 8/9th Avenue.

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The Neighborhood Curbside Canvas Project was founded by Bill Tsapalas after a bike ride through Tribeca. He could see that restaurant owners had limited resources and vision to make their temporary outdoor dining areas attractive, but Bill is a creative strategist, and he decided to help beautify these plywood sheet structures.

Up to now, the project has engaged over 20 artists around the city — and enhanced the look of a similar number of restaurants. The artists love having a canvas to work on, and the eateries pay artists in meals while they work, and they get a $100 gift card on completion. If there is no money available for art supplies, Bill has set up a GoFundMe to help make up the difference.

“This is our first project in Hell’s Kitchen and we couldn’t be happier with the incredible work by Joe,” said Ellen. “We hope this project brings some joy to our community during these tough times.”

Joe told us: “So thankful to be a local artist who helped contribute to such an amazing cause! Making neighborhoods brighter, one restaurant at a time!”

Tito Murphys art by Joseph Ricco. Photo: Ellen Pomerantz.

If you would like to get involved — as a restaurant or artist — please contact Ellen at ellenwriting@yahoo.com.

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