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

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Simon Dinnerstein: The Fulbright Triptych

Now that the MTA is back in business consider taking your kids to the German Consulate General to see Simon Dinnerstein's masterpiece "The Fulbright Triptych." The piece measures 14 feet by almost 7 feet and, at first glance looks like a family portrait, but reads more like an homage to art as religious experience. In depicting an engraved copper printmaking plate on top of a pillow in the center of the studio work table he elevates the tool to a place of scared significance. The triptych is also: a visual diary of the most important influences in his journey as an artist, an example of 1970s realism with nods to other realism styles such as trompe-l'oeil, hyper, and, folk. He began work on the triptych in 1971 while a Fullbright fellow studying the work of Durer in Kassel, Germany. The piece was completed in his Brooklyn studio in 1974 and exhibited in a solo show a year later  in New York City.  Dinnerstein, who is now 68, is a Brooklyn native who graduated from City College and studied drawing and painting at the Brooklyn Museum School. This was his first exhibited piece and his most famous. The Consulate is open only during the week so take advantage of the last few weeks of summer to experience this piece. Perfect for all.
"The  Fulbright Triptych" is on view from Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.  till March 15th, 2012.
The German Consulate General, 871 United Nations Plaza, at 49th Street, Manhattan. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sundays at Flushing Meadows Park

Flushing Meadows Park is the home of the Queens Museum of Art which offers free drop-in art workshops on Sundays from 1:30 pm- 4:30 pm.  Children ages 5-12 are invited to work on  art projects the art educators have cooked up for the day.  In addition to this ongoing program, Met Life sponsors a free workshop every Second Sunday at the museum.  This Sunday the theme is "Asian Americans in the City." After viewing photographs of cultural activities by Asian Americans in our city  taken by photographer Corky Lee.  You will be making Asian themed arts and crafts and Chinese snacks will be served.   After the kids are done flexing their creative skills, be sure to  check out the Panorama of the City of New York,  a permanent exhibit in the museum.  Built by Robert Moses for the 1964  World's Fair,  the panorama is a 9,335 square foot architectural model that includes every single building constructed before 1992 in all five boroughs.  You and your family  get a birds eye view of it  from a balcony/ramp.  A very popular and  cool exhibit.  
The park itself is a melting pot of ethnic groups  enjoying the soccer fields, playgrounds,  carousel, children's zoo, great Spanish food street vendors, and the Queens Science Museum.  On our  recent stroll around the park we came upon a group of kids drawing and writing comments on three blank  canvases  that  were propped up side by side on  some park benches.  My daughter naturally gravitated to the activity and was handed a marker by a smiling young woman named Hadaya.  Her project is called RELEASE.  She and some friends plan to display all of the completed works in a show next year, till then she plans to re-create this art happening in many more spots in and around the city and it's boroughs.  Be sure to stop by and make your mark.
Queens Museum of Art 
Flushing Meadows Corona Park 
Queens, NY 11368
(718) 592-9700


Friday, August 12, 2011

Free Art Workshop for kids at Socrates Sculpture Park

Where are those free art workshops that you need right about now to rescue you from  those long, long hazy days of summer?  
Feeling up to the challenge I looked around and found a program that is hosted by one of my favorite theme parks: Socrates Sculpture Park, located in Astoria, Queens.     
 Weekend art workshops for kids and adults. Saturdays to be exact. Here's how it works: you drop by the park at 11:00 am,  and participate in an art project with a new artist every week.  If you don't get your kids motivated that early fear not, another workshop starts at  3:00 pm. 
On  Aug 13th , join Brooklyn sculptor Zak Kitnick in creating  "The Dinner Party"  by  using your creative chops and  imagination to turn  ordinary dinnerware into pieces of art.
On August 20 and 26th from 11am - 2 pm & 3pm - 7 pm workshops,  join artists Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles in transforming  the park into a puppetscape with a Homeric twang to it.  "Odysseus at Hell Gate" is the title of the project that will be produced-with your help of course- and performed at the Park.  The arge-scale puppet making project will be paraded in a performance event on Sunday, August 28th.  Your kids will be introduced to the world of puppetry from creation to performance.  We aren't going to miss this one. Are you?
Perfect for all
Groups of 10 or more need to contact the office a week prior to your visit.
32-01 Vernon Boulevard at Broadway
Long Island City (Queens), NY 11106
Tel: 718-956-1819 


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Phoebe Washburn: "Nunderwater Nort Lab"

Phoebe Washburn, Nunderwater Nort Lab, 2011
mixed media dimension variable
Courtesy Zach Feuer Gallery and Mary Boone Gallery

When I told my daughter we were going to see a silo built in a gallery space, she put her earplugs back in her ears and rolled her eyes. I added that it would be an interactive experience of sights and sounds. She rolled her eyes again. We went to see it anyway. The artist, Phoebe Washburn, has constructed the silo/bunker
from re-purposed wood and set it in the middle of the main space of the Zach Feuer Gallery in Chelsea. You can smell the wood as you walk around the  exterior of the structure. There are observational "worm holes" which allow you to see what is going on inside. What you see are people preparing a meal. Lunch to be exact. This put a smile on my daughter's face. Why? She liked the randomness of it. The name of the scuplture/ installation is "Nunderwater Nort Lab." That title is part gibberish and part a play on the meaning and sounds of words. I was plagued by the desire to enter the silo, but visitors are not allowed in. Perhaps memories of being left out of activities? Who knows. My daughter didn't mind too much; she liked the idea of being able to peek in and spy on the volunteers. After we left,  she said she was glad we went. Show runs till August 12th. Perfect for all.
Zach Feuer Gallery 548 west 22nd street http://www.zachfeuer.com/