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Drawings by John Lennon on display in SoHo

An exhibit of John Lennon's artwork opens on Friday, in honor of Lennon's birthday. Plus, Metro interviews Yoko Ono.

In honor of what would have been his 72nd birthday, Yoko Ono is sharing a series of John Lennon's drawings with the public from Friday, October 5 until October 9.

The artwork will be on display in SoHo, as part of an exhibit Ono has put on for the past ten years, with her company, Bag One Arts and a partner, Legacy Fine Art & Productions.

"This is really a very important thing for me," Ono told Metro yesterday.

The curators are suggesting a $2 donation at the door, which will benefit the New York non-profit CityMeals on Wheels, an organization that provides food and company to elderly New Yorkers.

Ono emphasized the importance of this fund-raising, lamenting that "CityMeals on Wheels is having a very hard time."

The curators say that this year's exhibit considers fans more than ever before. It includes some written pieces, but the emphasis is on limited-edition prints of drawings and sketches.

Ono said she hopes to give people a chance to get a greater understanding of Lennon as an artist, and has included pieces from as early as 1964, up until Lennon's death in 1980.

Starting with 1964 was a significant decision, according to Ono.

"It was an important time for John in terms of artwork," she said. "It's when his work became more gritty and conceptual."

Three of the pieces have never been available to the public, and will be making their debut at this showing. "We discover things constantly," Ono says.

Other than to showcase Lennon as an artist, there is no theme to the works displayed in the exhibit.

"It's just John," Ono laughed.

Ono said she thinks the exhibit is timely: "The world is getting very intense, people are depressed," she said. "The exhibit has incredible humor moments, John's work had a lot of sense of humor and incredible wisdom."

While Lennon is best known as a musician, Ono said he was a skilled and passionate visual artist as well, and he drew and sketched throughout his life.

"He was a very inspired person," she said.

Where and when

The exhibit, called "The Art of John Lennon," will be available for viewing at 130 Prince St, between Wooster and West Broadway in SoHo, from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday October 5, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday October 6, and then from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day until the closing on Lennon's birthday, October 9. The exhibit is free, but there is a $2 suggested donation at the door. Proceeds will go to CityMeals on Wheels, a non-profit that cares for the elderly. The artwork is all for sale, and prices range from $200 to $22,000.

 
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