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In the frame

New York artists spotlight lost mom-and-pop shops

Rendering of James and Karla Murray's public art installation, Mom-and-Pops of the LES, in the Lower East Side's Seward Park James and Karla Murray

This July, the beloved New York greasy spoon Cup & Saucer, which closed last summer after nearly 30 years in business, will be resurrected in Seward Park in a public installation work, Mom-and-Pops of the LES, by the local artist couple James and Karla Murray. “The installation is an artistic intervention and a plea for recognition of the unique and irreplaceable contribution made to New York by small, often family-owned businesses,” the artists say on the Kickstarter page for the project, which has exceeded its $3,250 fundraising goal. The plywood box-like sculpture uses photographs by the couple to re-create a storefront of a lost or threatened small local business, among them, Cup & Saucer—a bodega, a coffee shop-luncheonette, a delicatessen and a newsstand—on each of its four sides. “When viewing the near life-size photographs, one can get a visceral sense of the impact of these losses on the community and on those who once depended on the shops that are now gone,” the artists say on their Kickstarter page. The work, also funded by NYC Parks and Uniqlo, is due to be shown from July 2018 to July 2019.