O.A.R.'s Benj Gershman Brings Visual Artists to Summer Stage

Benj Gershman is on his way to becoming a rock star. The handsome artist and bass player of Bonnaroo sweetheart band O.A.R. (Of A Revolution, who are returning to New York August 15 for their third appearance at Madison Square Garden), is well on his way to the American dream of limos and the MTV Video awards. But is Benj squandering the wages of rock on McMansions and GMC Denalis? Hell no. Benj started C2NY: City Culture New York.

C2NY and its Web site, Lookatlife.com, were conceived to help fellow visual artists create a networking community and get a leg up so their work can gain exposure to the public at large.

C2NY and Lookatlife.com’s missions are to first connect young artists with one another and second to bring New York artist’s work to actual New Yorkers. In their opinion, art belongs to everyone, not just museums and dealers. Artists enter the program by uploading their visual art at Lookatlife.com, which will then be judged by a panel of art editors and experts (such as PAPER Magazine Senior Editor Carlo McCormick among others) who select and curate work for public display.

Last summer Lookatlife.com partnered with the New York City Parks Foundation and Metro NY in order to incorporate and display the art and photography of these young artists into Central Park’s Summer Stage concert series, and they’ll be launching the program again starting this June.

When we asked Gershman where he saw Lookatlife.com going in the future he replied, “First [we will show in] New York, then LA and San Francisco. After that I’d like to hit college campuses in major cities. I figure they have great resources for creating art, but perhaps not the means or reason for exhibition…”

Artists can submit work to Lookatlife.com by registering on the Web site and uploading digital images of their work thereafter. Submissions will be accepted starting May 5, 2009 and throughout the Summer Stage season with a deadline of August 1, 2009.