Featuring art and artifacts from community members, Hip Hop Heroes honors Yonkers, the Bronx, and Mount Vernon as sites of New York’s musical innovation, where artists from The Lox to DMX to Mary J. Blige honed their craft and contributed to a thriving Hip Hop scene.
Hip Hop Heroes celebrates fifty years of Hip Hop in Yonkers and its neighboring communities, centering the stories of the pioneers and party goers who helped shape it into a global phenomenon. Featuring art and artifacts from community members, Hip Hop Heroes honors Yonkers, the Bronx, and Mount Vernon as sites of New York’s musical innovation, where artists from The Lox to DMX to Mary J. Blige honed their craft and contributed to a thriving Hip Hop scene.
Hip Hop is generally thought to be made up of four primary elements: DJing, MCing, breakdancing (or b-boying), and graffiti. Recognizing this multimedia dimension of the culture, the exhibition features work by graffiti writers, muralists, and comic book artists. The exhibition begins with an exploration of how the story of Hip Hop has often been told through the visual arts, featuring works by artists such as Antoinette Legnini and Andre Trenier and an original mural painted by local artists including Nancy Mendez, Michael Cuomo, and Marco Barrios. These artworks are further contextualized by cherished memorabilia from community members, including a collection of vinyls, ticket stubs, and flyers.
The exhibition also builds from artist Evan Bishop’s workshop series, Hip Hop Heroes: Create a Comic Book Cover, which was held at the Museum in the winter of 2023 and introduced participants to the relationship between social issues and Hip Hop culture. Original works created in these workshops will be featured in the exhibition, complemented by a documentary about Bishop’s project filmed by photojournalist Denzel Walters. A special feature of Hip Hop Heroes will be a series of arts workshops, held in the exhibition space, where visitors will have the opportunity to create their own Hip Hop heroes. The resulting art will be considered for inclusion in the comic book section of the exhibition, which will feature a rotating selection of original works created by and for our diverse audiences.
Installed in the Museum’s Community and Partnership Gallery, Hip Hop Heroes is guided by the space’s mission to provide an inviting and experimental place to feature local, regional, and emerging artists as well as artists-in-residence and community-based collaborations.
This exhibition is co-curated by Yonkers-based artist Evan Bishop and Karintha Lowe, HRM’s Mellon Public Humanities Fellow.
Significant support is provided by the New York State Senate and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
This exhibition is made possible by the City of Yonkers, Mayor Mike Spano; ReStart the Arts, administered by ArtsWestchester; and Sarah Lawrence College through a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation.
Additional assistance for HRM exhibitions is provided by the County of Westchester.
Tommy The Animator • Robin Alcantara • Marco Barrios • Shanequa Benitez • Michael Cuomo • Antoinette Legnini • Nancy Mendez • Nic 707 • Pose2/MaxxMoses • Lady Slim • Andre Trenier • Katori Walker • Denzel Walters
The Benitez Family • Joe Genovese • Tom Ray • Raymond Vasquez • Yonkers Museum of Art (YoMA)
With special thanks to Ken Davis and Dennis Fields.