GO See Art in Brooklyn This Weekend!

As some of you know, for the past few months I’ve been working on GO, a borough-wide, community-curated open studio event organized by the Brooklyn Museum. After months of planning, preparation and outreach the open studio weekend is upon us! This Saturday and Sunday, September 8th and 9th, over 1,700 artists with studios all over Brooklyn will open their doors to you from 11 am to 7 pm.  I am so excited about GO because it showcases the diversity of artistic talent that Brooklyn has to offer. It also gives viewers the chance to see art in places they never knew artists were working, whether that’s under their nose in their own neighborhood or farther afield.

I’ve been working as the neighborhood coordinator for my beloved neighborhood, Sunset Park, where 160 artists will open their studios! I knew artists worked in the neighborhood, but I’ve been so pleased about just how many artists there are and how many want to participate in GO. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to think about how we can continue to promote art in Sunset Park as a group and our first small step is a Tumblr page, Sunset Park Artists, for participating artists to share images of new work and work in progress. There’s also two fantastic nonprofits, Chashama and the New York Art Residency and Studio Foundation that offer artists affordable studio space, and many artists with studios in these buildings are participating. I’ve also put together a Sunset Park guide of places to eat and hang out before, after or during seeing studios. Why not make a weekend out of coming to Sunset Park? All of these sites give you a little taste of what you will find here in the neighborhood!

To learn more about participating in GO as a viewer and voter, search neighborhoods and explore the profiles participating artists visit gobrooklynart.org. If you want more information about Sunset Park artists stop by the Green Fig Cafe on Saturday or Sunday between 11 and 3 and I’ll give you all the information you need to get out and see art. See you in the studios!

Hey, Brooklyn! Let’s GO see art!

I’m really excited to tell you about a great, new project that I’m involved in. The Brooklyn Museum, my favorite museum in the world, has launched GO, a community-curated, open studio event.  During GO, Brooklyn-based artists are asked to open their studios to the community on September 8–9, 2012. Community members registered as voters will visit studios and nominate artists for inclusion in a group exhibition to open at the Museum on Target First Saturday, December 1, 2012.

GO brings together so many of my favorite things: contemporary art, the Brooklyn art scene, social media, and the cultural life of the borough. Knowing that Brooklyn is a huge borough with 71 square miles and 67 different neighborhoods, the Brooklyn Museum is working with 22 neighborhood coordinators to help get the word out. I’m serving as a neighborhood coordinator for my favorite Brooklyn neighborhood, Sunset Park. If you see a redhead taking up posters or distributing GO postcards along 5th avenue or down in the industrial waterfront, that just might be me! You can meet the different coordinators, learn about art highlights in different neighborhoods, and learn more about the GO project on the very lively GO tumblr.

If you are artist with a studio in Brooklyn you have until June 29 to register to participate in the open studio weekend. You can find out more  and register on the GO website. If you don’t have a studio, but want to go see art in Brooklyn on September 8th and 9th, mark your calendar! Registration for voters opens August 1st.

Those About to Die Salute You

There are few times working as a museum educator and public programmer that I get to feel like an art world star. Usually I’m the one behind the scenes, checking the logistics and making sure everything goes off without a hitch. This week I, along with some of my colleagues, got a chance to be the stars of the show for a change.

When Peter called me and asked me to be involved in something after work on the 13th I agreed, not really sure what he was asking me to do. Little did I know, I had committed myself to taking part in the “art party of the summer,” Duke Riley’s project “Those About to Die Salute You,” the culmination of his residency at the Queens Museum of Art. Duke constructed boats for teams from 5 Museums in the city (Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, el Museo del Barrio, Snug Harbor Cultural Center?) out of reeds that grow in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and fashioned a project based on a Naumacia, a Roman battle in the flooded colosseum, held especially during times of hunger and strife. How fitting, I thought. Little did I know what I was in for.

Despite arriving early and being briefed on the rules, both participants and spectators were given copious amounts of free alcohol and the event began to feel a little more like a bacchanal and less like a scripted Roman battle. I was nervous when we got on our boat and were pushed out into the pool, only to have drunken visitors lobbing rotten tomatoes at our heads and kids ran around in the pool. This was not a family program, people and hey, we were supposed to be the spectacle, not them!

Everything that happened after that was a blur, but I do remember the Queens Museum team illegally boarding and capsizing our boat and me scrambling aboard their boat while beefy guys tried to throw me off. Heck no was I going to let that happen. I couldn’t help but remember my great-grandfather, Captain Patrick, who saved his family by lashing them to the mast of his sinking clipper ship. While the Queens Museum celebrated victory, a climbed up their boat and flipped them (and the crowd) the bird. It probably only lasted 5 seconds, but it was an eternity in my mind.

I climbed out of the pool to find myself bleeding. My wounds got a lot of play and made me a rock star at work today, though my head was still pounding from tomato impact.

See the whole story unfold on the Brooklyn Museum’s flickr stream. Gothamist also did a pretty good write up (and took great photos). The New York Times’ City Room Blog also has a pretty good write up.

Tag, You’re It!

I like a workplace that’s fun as well as intellectually stimulating and it’s always nice when I get tapped on the shoulder to participate in one of our ever expanding and innovative online community projects. This one centers on one of my favorite objects in the collection, the space lander bicycle, and demonstrates how one can “tag” objects in our collection online through the “Tag! You’re it” game on the Museum’s website. Enjoy!

Brooklyn Museum vs. MoMA

Now, I say to each their own and I enjoy visiting the MoMA, though I am not sure how I feel about their invasion of the Atlantic Pacific subway stop. I would say “it’s better than advertising,” but it IS advertising. However, this article from the Brooklyn Paper made me laugh, because officially even though the Brooklyn Museum is like “Hey, we’re cool with it,” the journalist and the people interviewed are like “Brooklyn is better! Back of MoMA!” I like the idea of the Brooklyn Museum plastering Times Square with reproductions of their works of art though…

Sufjan Stevens and the BQE

On Friday evening I went with my friends to BAM to see Sufjan Stevens perform The BQE, which is a new work that BAM comissioned celebrating Robert Moses’ unlikely monument to automobile culture and “ubran renewal.” With three film screens, dancers with glowing hula hoops and a full orchestra, it was a stunning piece. It reminded me of the ballet I saw in Paris by Robyn Orlin, who also incorporated film into her work in a very dynamic way. The performance made me think about how I relate to Brooklyn visually–what are the sights I see everyday as I move around the city that are actually monuments (or ruins) or a certain kind? The blue gorilla near 9th street and the Gowanus canal? The bright yellow storage warehouse on Atlantic Ave? Sunset Park’s numerous industrial buildings and dentention center? Dumbo and Williamsburg’s new high rise condos? The other effect the piece had on me was it lead me to reflect on a relationship I was in several years ago with someone who lived in Queens. I never thought about it like this before, but our relationship was so much about the BQE. There was always traffic, rough pavement, and construction at unlikely times. I learned very quickly that the BQE was not a road to be trusted; expressway often meant anything but. I knew so many sights in Sufjan’s film from that time in my life- the bridges, the Queens cemetaries, the Manhattan skyline as seen from Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I’m glad it’s been memorialized and analyzed in someway. It made me realize my trips on the BQE are probably my fondest memories from those days.

Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art Blog

A great blog that all interested in feminist art should keep their eyes on lately is the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art blog (or EASCFA for short). The EASCFA will be opening on March 23rd on the Brooklyn Museum’s 4th floor. There will be months of exciting programming and art, including an exhibition of contemporary feminist art called Global Feminisms. Those interested can keep themselve in the know by visiting http://eascfa.blogspot.com. There is also currently a very interesting entry about object conversation for an Egyptian statue for one of the upcoming shows, Pharaohs, Queens, and Goddesses, so if you ever wondered what bronze disease is, cruise over to their blog and find out!