A guide to art in NYC, with families in mind.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

NADA Hudson: Art in The Catskills

With August approaching and many of us thinking of our last chance to escape the city. Think Catskills, as it is teeming with a multitude of art galleries, art fairs and performing art festivals to visit.  Today, starts the NADA Hudson group exposition at the Basilica Hudson building and grounds in Hudson, New York.  
"The Upstate New York Olympics"
Tim Davis
The New Art Dealers Alliance as pulled together an exciting group of artists for a two day art happening.  We arrived a day early and watched the artists setting up their installations.  My daughter gravitated to photographer Tim Davis's  multimedia installation "The Upstate New York Olympics."  She being a sporty chic with a keen fascination for trophies, totally got Mr. Davis's video of surreal  sporting events such as "Abandoned Building Bowling," (above video) and "Architectural Detail Dangle," to name just a few.  The  trophies on display, confirmed for my girl, that the games were a worthy endeavor.  My daughter gave it a 10 out of 10. I had to agree. The exposition ends Sunday, July 31st hours are from  11am to 7pm.  Perfect for most.
Lee Musselman, 2011
The town of Hudson, is closer than you think. You can get there by train and it's about a 2 hour trip. Not too much to ask for spectacular Hudson River views and an arty town that goes on and on with charm and antiques.   A  jewelry design/art gallery called Ornamentum combines fine art photography and jewelry display, in a very convincing way.  Talk about wearable art. That being said, my daughter was done after art gallery number 3, so we decided to  just stuck to look  in the windows.  Our favorite window display/art belonged to the David Dew Bruner Design studio/ art gallery where a curious young fellow on a painted pony caught our eye.  He is the creation of artist Lee Musselman whose new works will be up shortly check www.daviddewbrunerdesign.com for details. 
Also please look into the Mount Tremper Arts Summer Festival 2011.  MTA, is putting on visual arts programs and exhibitions all over the Catskills every Friday and Saturday night  till August 21.  Check their site www.mountreperarts.org for all the details. 
Honorable mention:  510 Warren Street Gallery, Hudson, New York. Featuring the artist Doris Simon's abstract paintings (at left). Other favorites include: Eleanor Lord, Kate Knapp and Steve Porcella.  Up until July 31st.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

goARCHkids: Broad Majestic NY Harbor

I was dropping the kids off at the ferry to New Jersey and I looked up and saw a chunk of the British Isles sticking up over the edge of this concrete thing. Fascinating! You know I've got a thing for a green roof! It really looked like the Highlands or something. So I walked around and saw that there were metal strips wrapped around this big concrete base explaining that this is the Irish Hunger Memorial. One thing New York can thank the Irish Famine for is sending our city a huge percentage of the population of Ireland. The Irish, along with the Italians, the Jews, the Puerto Ricans, the Domincans, etc., etc. all made our city the fabulous wealth of culture that it is today. However, when the potato famine started in Ireland in 1845, one third of the country relied on potatoes as the staple of their diet. Starvation was rampant and the failure of the crop changed everything. Throughout the 1840s, hundreds of thousands of Irish left the country. This structure, part architecture, part art, was created by the Brooklyn artist Brian Toll. When I was there a thin wire fence was wrapped around the base, so no visitors could ascend to what appears to be a ruined castle of some kind. It is a stone structure with access to a mysterious looking interior. I discovered it is a 150 year old cottage imported from County Mayo. As it happens, this quarter acre of stones and vegetation was imported from County Mayo as well. When you can follow the winding path up through the meadow, you will find yourself on a cantilever looking out at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, two of the most important symbols of freedom and opportunity for immigrants that our country has to offer. I imagine its a very moving experience. The text on the two miles of bands circling the base of the structure includes quotations from politicians, autobiographies, oral histories, letters. It all relates to famine and can be updated at any time. This is an easily and emotionally accessible memorial. The children will respond to the text and the experience. Mine were very disappointed they couldn't climb up and into the meadow. But the words were compelling and the story of the famine is something that we might forget to really emphasize the impact of, without things like this memorial to remind us. Every part of the design is significant and related to the story of the famine and the experience of those who endured it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rockaway Artist Alliance: Art and Sea breezes

Penelope Atheras works on sculpture
at RAA

Here's a way to cool down and get some art appreciation in while visiting  the shore.  Did you know there is a thriving artist community at the Rockaway's?  RAA or Rockaway Artist Alliance at  Fort Tilden, Beach  to be exact.  You can get there using public transportation.  Our friends from Brooklyn and Manhattan, do it all the time.  What you'll find when you get there is a gallery space hosting local artist's and invited guest artists,  a stage for  live music  "Open Mic Live" on Thursdays,  a studio where you or your children ( middle school age and up) can takep painting classes - for a very nominal fee,)  an art camp for children and a program for teens called Gen M Project.  This project invites teen to come over every  Friday night and do their creative thing.  If you know a teen looking for a creative environment to perform  music, poetry and art or just a place to hang with like minded creative types,  send them  to RAA at 8pm on Fridays (bring a Parent for your first visit and then solo after that.)  
 My favorite experience at RAA  is watching the sculptor Penelope Atheras scraping and smoothing her current inspiration on the porch of RAA. She has set up her atelier  right on the spot to the left of the gallery entrance and can be seen there most days of the week.  She has a welcoming smile for all who want to come in and check out the work in the gallery and she chats with you while her beautiful hands carve life into the equally as beautiful piece of marble  from Italy or  beyond.   Your children can watch her in action  and listen to her lovingly describe the way of sculpting. So stay cool go to the shore and look beyond the shore line for RAA  -Rockaway Artists Alliance.  A group that serves it's community, but all are welcome.
Visit  www.rockawayartistsalliance.org for all the information  -E.S.
Gateway National Recreation Area, Fort Tilden, Beach 169th Street Rockaway NY 11695Rockaway Artist Alliance

Monday, July 18, 2011

Leo Villareal: Volume

Cylinder, 2011,  Leo Villareal
White LEDs, mirror finished stainless steel, custom software, electrical hardware
12 x 9 x 9 feet
Unique, site specific
When walking into the Gering & Lopez Gallery this month you may feel as if you've stepped out of a rocket ship and come face to face with a shooting star. The light sculptor, Leo Villareal, offers us a three-dimensional matrix of polished stainless steel tubes with over 20,000 of LED light nodes in them. Mr. Villareal is a pioneer in the use of LED's  in visual imagery. In this exhibit the software code he has written causes the light nodes to light up in an infinite series of patterns and movements, going bright and dark, fast and slow, like a symphony of light. The cylindrical piece is hung in the center of the gallery so you are able to walk around this light show that is truly spellbinding. Your younger kids will have to be super monitored so that the work is not disturbed. The show runs until August 19th. Take a break from the shopping on fifth ave and run to see this.
Perfect for all. Gering & Lopez Gallery, 730 Fifth Avenue. http://www.geringlopez.com/

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weekend Hit: Jim Dow: American Studies

Dairy Queen at Night  by Jim Dow
 Signage is everywhere and it always makes me do a double take when it's vintage.  There are fewer and fewer of them around and I always think  about taking a photograph (that would do it justice) before the sign disappears.  The photographer Jim Dow understands that feeling and has made a career of capturing  this slice of our  consumer landscape.   He has been photographing Pop Americana since the seventies so many of the signs are gone but thankfully have been preserved  for us to enjoy.  A collection of these images is on view at the Janet Borden gallery through July 30. -E.S.
Perfect for most.
Janet Borden Gallery at 560 Broadway at Prince Street

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Chinese Puzzles: Games for the Hands and Minds

A lazy summer afternoon is the perfect time to pull out puzzles and games.  The title of this painting  is "Jeux Chinois," 1882, by Louis-Emile Pinel de Grandchamp.  These young Parisian women  are playing with  puzzles made in Canton, probably brought to them by a friend or relative who engaged in trade with China.  This painting is part of an exhibit called "Chinese Puzzles: Games for the Hands and Minds," at the Museum of Chinese in America on Centre street.  The museum began as a community based organization in 1980 called the New York Chinatown History Project.
 In Chinese, the word puzzle translates to "intelligence games,"  and the tradition of making puzzling objects for entertainment is deeply rooted in Chinese culture.  This exhibition of over 100 objects  is part of a large  collection of over 1300  objects including ring puzzles, secret compartment puzzle boxes, tangrams and other  graphic materials, which are owned by  a couple who have been collecting antique Chinese puzzles, from all over the world since 1997.  Visitors are invited to pick up modern reproductions of  ring puzzles  and take a crack at them.   If you need help there are videos to help you. The exhibit has been extended through September 5th, 2011.  On Thursdays admission is free.  The Museum is closed Tuesdays and Wednesday's.  Save the date:   Chinese Puzzles Family Workshop  July 23rd from 1:30 to 2:30
Perfect for most.
The Museum of Chinese in America 215 Centre St

Monday, July 11, 2011

David Michalek: Portraits in Dramatic Time

It's hot out and the kids want to stay up later and later. Who can blame them? No one can sleep knowing there is so much going on after dark. Take them to Lincoln Center, buy gelatos from a nearby cart, and view a free video entitled "Portraits in Dramatic Time" by director David Michalek. The video plays continuously every night from 8:45 to 11:45 until July 31st on a ginormous screen hoisted on to the front of the David H. Koch Theater (right next to the fountain). Mr. Michalek has photographed actors grouped together in twos and threes having conversations or watching each other as if standing on a subway platform or in a party. The video is shot in high definition at 3,000 frames per second and then decelerated to the excruciatingly slow pace of five to twelve frame per second. At first a narrative seems nonexistent, then, suddenly - well, ok, very slowly, a plot develops and circumstances become chaotic as bodies collide, drinks are spilled, and objects go flying in the air. There is no embedded soundtrack so only the sounds of city add to the drama. I found myself transfixed to the screen and mute as I stood among a crowd of others in the same state. My daughter on the other hand, thought it was hilarious and enjoyed the freedom of being able to move about and view the show unrestricted. Except for the lack of air conditioning, this is way better than sitting in a movie theater. Your older kids will have no problem getting dragged to this one. Perfect for the ones who get to stay up late. Lincoln Center, http://www.lincolncenterfestival.org

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

George Tooker: Reality Returns as a Dream

Bathers (Bath House)
Egg tempera on board

The exhibition of paintings by George Tooker currently on view at the DC Moore Gallery is entitled "Reality Returns as a Dream." Many of the the subjects in these paintings seem as if they are in a dream-like trance. There are bathers, office workers, market shoppers, all with a distant look in their eyes. In the 1940s, Tooker took classes at the Arts Students League in New York. There  he met Paul Cadmus, who encouraged him to work in a paint medium called egg tempera.  This type of paint is fast-drying, and yes, it is made by mixing a pigment with egg yolk. It produces the luminous and rich looking quality that we see in paintings of the late Renaissance and Baroque period. Mr. Tooker's career spanned over sixty years and his style was sometimes described as Magic Realism. He, however, did not care for that label, and explained that his images were the essence of experience. He was quoted as saying, "I am after painting reality impressed on the mind so hard that it returns as a dream, but I am not after painting dreams as such, or fantasy." This is a memorial exhibition as the artist died earlier this year. The show is up until  August 5th, 2011. Perfect for all ages.

All images courtesy D.C. Moore Gallery, 535 West 22nd street. www.dcmooregallery.com

at left :
The Supermarket, 1972
Egg tempera on panel

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cappy Amundsen: Whale of a Tale

If you're enjoying ocean breezes and some salty sea air this weekend, thoughts of sailing the high seas may cross your mind. During our recent vacation, the last stop before leaving the ocean vistas was the Whaling Museum in Sag Harbor. This is a "must-see" stop whenever you and your family go out east, as it always delivers with its beautifully preserved whaling artifacts and info about it's history. The gallery on the main floor of the museum is commemorating the100th anniversary of the life and paintings of Cappy Amundsen, a Norwegian artist who was a fixture in the Sag Harbor community. Among his many distinctions, Cappy founded two arts schools, the first waterfront festival and the Outboard Racing Regatta. His paintings are realistic scenes of men whaling. Scene after scene depict accurate representations of the high drama of the old world industry of "whaling." Cappy attended the Grand Central School of Art where he studied illustration and painting. In 1932, he became a founder of the Washington Square Outdoor Art Show with Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and others. Be sure to stop in enjoy the whole museum. My daughter especially enjoyed the video on the history of whaling. Perfect for all ages. Sag Harbor Whaling Museum, 200 Main street.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

goARCHkids: Bridge & Tunnel Classicism

While in Jersey City the other day, strolling the waterfront area with the kids, we came across an interesting juxtaposition. We saw a handsome Doric colonnade, but instead of a standard Doric treatment for the entablature (the stuff the columns are holding up), this Doric colonnade was topped with a bunch of i-beams!

I-beams are usually associated with the construction of high-rises or really anything built these days. You see them all over the place.

So it was pretty exciting when I pointed to this colonnade and said to the kids, look at what's on top of those Doric columns and my 9 year old son shouted, I-BEAMS! Its a pretty crazy mix when you think about it but I think it kind of works.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Weekend Hit List: More than Fireworks

Picturing Science: Museum Scientists & Imaging Technologies has a curated exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History that invites us to look at what happens when art and science merge. Museum scientists study every thing from parasites to planets with imaging technologies that include infrared photography, scanning electron microscopes and CT scanners.  This exhibit features more than 20 sets of large-format images that depict the extensive range of research being done at the Museum. The images are breathtakingly beautiful. The beauty of Science indeed! The exhibit runs till June 24, 2012  This exhibit is free with the suggested Museum admission. You choose what you actually pay for admission. Perfect for all ages. American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th street, open every day from 10 AM- 5:45 PM except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.


Taiwo Duvall

The 40th Annual International African Arts Festival held at Commodore Barry Park, Navy Street between Park and Flushing Avenue in Brooklyn is a four-day arts and crafts festival ending Monday July 4th at 9:00 pm. Along with poetry slams, fashion shows, food, dance, drumming and an African Market, the festival will feature the work of artist Taiwo Duvall. Mr. Duvall is not only a visual artist, but also a musician and folklorist, as is evident in his work.

Tyson Reeder: Fantastical Emotion

Tyson Reeder
Untitled, 2011

The many moods of artist Tyson Reeder are on display in an exhibition of his paintings at the Daniel Reich Gallery in Chelsea.   In this series of portraits and landscapes,emotions take center stage.  His choice of colors and brushstrokes can burst with high energy or be haunting and  subdued as each painting takes you on a ride of imagination and fantasy.  Children  naturally paint images of themselves and others  that are revealing of emotion and desires.  Mr. Reeder never lost that freedom and fluidity of expression.  The images are highly personal  and yet he leaves room for you to fill in your own narrative and mood by giving the background only colors, brush strokes and scratches and marks.   The exhibit run thru July 15th. 
Perfect for all ages
Daniel Reich Gallery 537  A West 23rd st.
Tyson Reeder
Untitled, 2011
Tyson Reeder
Kiss, 2011