By NOAH BECKER, Nov. 2017
I had a chance to talk with New York's Vincent and Shelley Fremont who are being honored as philanthropists at this year's Artwalk, an annual event supporting New York's homeless. This year's edition also honors artist Louise Fishman.
Noah Becker: I’m interested in discussing your participation in the upcoming Artwalk?
Vincent Fremont: Ok, sure.
Shelley Fremont: Ok.
NB: Tell me about some of the things that you two have been doing with Artwalk?
SF: We started out being involved with the coalition for the homeless.
VF: They always honored an artist and Shelley got involved through First Step.
SF: Yes I got involved through First Step - a group that protects battered women. They train them and give them skills to get into the workplace. I started going to the luncheons and hearing the women’s stories and learning about it.
VF: Eventually the head of the Coalition for the Homeless asked us to be the chairs of the art advisory for Artwalk. We brought in a lot of artists to give work and that sort of thing. We stopped being the chairs and I started working with Artnews but the Coalition is honoring us this year.
NB: And Artwalk is at Spring Studios this year. I recall it was at Milk Studios and a few other locations. Tell me more about your history of helping those less fortunate?
SF: I’ve spent time working at soup kitchens and things like that but most of our work has been with the coalition. They also have a food truck that feeds people here in New York City every night.
NB: That’s great.
VF: They’re very proactive.
SF: Very. And I’ve gone of those trips with the food trucks also. The only time they ever missed was Hurricane Sandy with the curfew and you couldn’t go out. So they missed just one night in three years.
NB: So money from Art Walk will go to help - to get the trucks out there and support the children and the homeless.
VF: Yes to help the Coalition.
SF: Also Art Walk helps just the day-to-day running of the coalition. They have offices on Chambers Street. People come there when they are destitute and in absolute need of help. They are such great advocates for the homeless. I mean they are really working to get housing and it’s an uphill battle.
NB: See you at Artwalk! Thanks for speaking with us! WM
Noah Becker shows his art internationally. A visual artist and the publisher and founding editor of Whitehot Magazine, Becker has also written freelance articles for The Guardian, VICE, Garage, Art in America, Interview Magazine, Canadian Art and the Huffington Post and contributed texts to major artist monographs published by Rizzoli and Hatje Cantz. Becker also directed the New York art documentary New York is Now (2010) viewable on Youtube.
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