Clayton Patterson’s Front Door: Residents and Writers features rarely-seen images from the renowned photographer, who has documented the unique cultural ecosystem of the Lower East Side for over 40 years. The exhibition presents selections from the Front Door series, portraits taken in front of Patterson’s 161 Essex Street studio from the mid 1980s to early 2000s. Known as the “Wall of Fame, ” the door served as an important canvas for local graffiti writers and as a backdrop for Patterson’s portraits of local residents.

An opening reception will be held on 3 June from 4–6pm at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Park at 216 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002.

Artist Bios

  • Clayton Patterson

    Clayton Patterson is a Canadian-born artist, photographer, videographer and folk historian. Since moving to New York City in 1979, his work has focused almost exclusively on documenting the art, life and times of the Lower East Side in Manhattan.


  • Abrons Arts Center

    Abrons Arts Center

    Abrons Arts Center is a home for contemporary interdisciplinary arts in Manhattan’s Lower East Side neighborhood. A core program of the Henry Street Settlement, Abrons believes that access to the arts is essential to a free and healthy society. Through performance presentations, exhibitions, education programs, and residencies, Abrons mobilizes communities with the transformative power of art.

  • Photoville


    Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville was built on the principles of addressing cultural equity and inclusion, which we are always striving for, by ensuring that the artists we exhibit are diverse in gender, class, and race.

    In pursuit of its mission, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions.

    By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, we join the cause of nurturing a new lens of representation.

    Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.

    For more information about Photoville visit,

  • NYC Parks

    NYC Parks

    NYC Parks is the steward of more than 30,000 acres of land — 14 percent of New York City — including more than 5,000 individual properties ranging from Coney Island Beach and Central Park to community gardens  and Greenstreets. We operate more than 800 athletic fields and nearly 1,000 playgrounds, 1,800 basketball courts, 550 tennis courts, 65 public pools, 51 recreational facilities, 15 nature centers, 14 golf courses, and 14 miles of beaches. We care for 1,200 monuments and 23 historic house museums. We look after 600,000 street trees, and two million more in parks. We are New York City’s principal providers of recreational and athletic facilities and programs. We are home to free concerts, world-class sports events, and cultural festivals.

Clayton Patterson’s Front Door: Residents and Writers

 archive : 2023

Featuring: Clayton Patterson

Curated by: Ali Rosa-Salas Lei Takanashi

Presented by: Abrons Arts Center & Photovile
  • Abrons Arts Center
  • Photoville
  • NYC Parks


View Location Details Martin Luther King Jr. Community Park

Montgomery Street (btwn Henry Street and E Broadway)
New York,
NY 10002

Number 69 on the official photoville map Click to download this year's map

Location open 24 hours

Clayton Patterson’s Front Door: Residents and Writers is organized by Ali Rosa-Salas, Abrons Arts Center’s Vice President of Visual and Performing Arts, and Lei Takanashi, creator of the graffiti archive Instagram account @CrookNYC.

Related Events

May 222024

Portraits by Clayton Patterson at Harold Hunter Day

Harold Hunter Days has been postponed. Please check back soon for updated time and date!

Stop by and pose for photographer Clayton Patterson at Harold Hunter Day!

Learn More

This website was made possible thanks to the generous support and partnership of Photowings