For art lovers in NYC, there’s been good reason to make the trek up to the South Bronx lately.

This past weekend, activism centralaka Brook Parkhosted an art show on Saturday and an Indigenous Peoples fest Sunday, each boasting a coterie of up and coming talent. This Wednesday, Wall Works in the Mott Haven neighborhood will host the first of two retrospectives paying tribute to the Fashion Moda Gallery of the 1980s, a central nexus for street culture then.

Last month, the Old Bronx Borough Courthouse knocked the dust off its walls and opened for a special group show titled “When You Cut Into the Present the Future Leaks Out.” Among others, it featured work by local Abigail Deville.

Deville has been called a sculptor, an assemblage artist, and a maker of installations. She lives and works in the Bronx and is often seen dragging scraps of garbage around the streets in a shopping cart. For Deville, they are emblematic of a forgotten people.

A recent piece titled … and justice for all? took up half a room at the courthouse show and looked like any number of makeshift homes on skid row. Wood pallets leaned up against boards and chicken wire was used to shape it into a kind of teepee. When the room’s lights were turned out, however, and the work was lit by a string of multi-colored Christmas lights, it was as if the forgotten men or women living on the streets were suddenly given their inner-glow back.

Deville has been compared to a few ’60s L.A. assemblagists, including Noah Purifoy, who led a team of African American artists to create an exhibition based on the refuse of the 1965 Watts riots. Deville is equally political, though identity isn’t nearly the sole focus.

She employs severed, mucked up mannequin limbs and discarded household items (hanging lamps, porcelain toilets) the way Ed Kienholz doesformally and haunted. A 2012 Deville sculpture titled Hooverville Torqued Ellipse recalls Richard Serra’s large-scale obtuse shapes, minus the solidity. (Deville employed waterlogged cardboard instead of Serra’s robust metals.)

Other times her work takes on a strong design element. She approaches piles of collected garbage the way many savants do who’ve created live-in folk environments. (Think Simon Rodia, maker of the Watts Towers.) Deville sees pattern and order where others see only chaos. She sees value where most see none. It’s easy to repeat the old adage, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” but in light of the recent wave of police brutality, Deville’s work brings to mind a more poignant aphorism: “Black lives matter.” (Brian Chidester)