By Billy McEntee

About Billy McEntee

Billy McEntee has been fortunate to work for arts non-profits in Boston, Denver, Berkeley, and now New York. His writing has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Brooklyn Magazine, Indiewire, HowlRound, Eclectica Magazine, and others. He's usually getting wine at Dandelion or eating cookies at Archestratus.

Local Filmmaker’s “Incall” Returns to Film Noir Cinema June 21!

A scene from INCALL by Brock Riebe

Would Northern Brooklyn be complete without its own film noir jewel box theater? Film Noir Cinema, located at 122 Meserole Avenue, is a hidden gem in Greenpoint that will soon screen the revival of INCALL, a coming-of-age film with a twist. In the film, After the accidental death of a massage client, and through a bizarre set of circumstances, a young masseur and a seductive cat burglar begin killing massage clients for profit. The film, previously a hit in the nabe, returns Thursday, June 21 at 9 PM.

We spoke with filmmaker Brock Riebe — a local artist who wrote, produced, directed, and starred in the movie — about his influences, social commentary in film, and how to succeed while working on a micro-budget.

Greenpointers: INCALL has had a few encore presentations at this point. What do you think audiences find most appealing about this film?

Brock Riebe: Many people can relate to the struggle of the lead character, Kasey, who has been playing by the “rules” in life but who still can’t seem to make ends meet. In the film, Kasey begins questioning who exactly is making the “rules” and for whose benefit? As a result, he ends up going down a very dark path in which he, with the assistance of his cohort Marco, begins making his own rules for his own benefit. In this age of 21st century, greed-based global capitalism (an age in which many feel forced to play by “rules” that are not for their benefit, and that they had no say in making), many can relate to this theme and are asking similar questions. Continue reading

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Sadi Tekin Discusses Creating Tattoos, Illustrations, and Art in and around the Neighborhood

Sadi Tekin specializes in ink on paper

“Welcome to the magical world of Sadi Tekin,” the artist’s website proclaims. And magical it is — local artist and illustrator Sadi Tekin is a known for his enchanting and whimsy drawings that touch the heart and often go — per his recent venture into tattoo creations — skin-deep. We caught up with the Greenpoint artist (a recent presence at Greenpoint Open Studios) to discuss his Brooklyn dwelling, Kickstarter project, and upcoming projects.

Greenpointers: Do you live in Brooklyn, and if so where/how long have you been here?

Sadi Tekin: I’ve been living in New York since 2012, and four years of it was in Brooklyn. Now I’m in Greenpoint and loving it. Continue reading

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Weekly Art Roundup June 11–18: Laurie Simmons, A/D/O, Areté Shows, and More!

 A hodgepodge of artistic events are on display this week, neighbors — Laurie Simmons comes to Nitehawk, DJ Spooky returns to his home borough, and more art delights and invades Northern Brooklyn this week. Take a gander at the eclectic mix below!
Himbad and The 9th Wave by Himbad
3rd Ethos Gallery | 154 Knickerbocker Avenue
Now–June 24
More info, free
Himbad is an elusive entity that’s created a set of mystic characters drawn from his studies in Egyptian folklore and Eastern mythology. Originally from London, he has become an internationally renowned street artist recognized for his ability to imagine creatures from the underworld and is now enjoying his first solo show.

SPIRIT OF THE CITY art installation
A/D/O | 29 Norman Avenue
Now–September 2
More info, free

Spirit of the City is a site-specific installation by London-based United Visual Artists that explores the physical and emotional response that individuals experience when navigating urban environments. Visitors are surrounded by 9-foot high gold mirrored rotating cubes which mimic Manhattan’s (and now Greenpoint’s) high rise skyscrapers. During the day, the reflective cubes cast beams of light onto the ground and walls in an ever changing confetti of light, while at night, the cubes are illuminated.

My Art by Laurie Simmons
Nitehawk | 136 Metropolitan Avenue
Monday, June 11 at 7:30
More info, $16

Laurie Simmons — acclaimed visual artist and mother to Lena and Grace Dunham — comes to Nitehawk with her new film, My Art, playing a single artist living in New York whose decades-old dream of a respectable place in the art world becomes more elusive. A Q&A will follow this Monday’s screening!

DJ Spooky
Deep Space | 74 Wythe Avenue
Wednesday, June 13 at 10 PM
More info, $15

Deep Space is proud to celebrate the newest work by electronic music’s original Renaissance man DJ Spooky who reinvents dancehall into forward thinking, bass loving and highly dance-worthy summer anthems on his latest musical release, DJ Spooky Presents: Phantom Dancehall. The artist, who is credited as one of the master makers of Brooklyn’s once emerging electronic music scene, and NYC’s signature “illbient” movement, returns to his home town for a rare NYC appearance.

A Rip in the Tide Opening
Lucas Lucas | 57 Conselyea Street
Thursday, June 14 from 7–10 PM
More info, free

A Rip in the Tide, a solo show of hand-cut paper by Sophie C’est La Vie, will open at Lucas Lucas in Brooklyn on June 14 and will be on view through July 15. Through framed pieces of hand-cut paper as a reflection of a thought, mood or feeling at one point in time, the artist explores the collision of poise and primal response.

He Disappeared into Complete Silence with Darius Jones & Angélica Negrón’s Pasajero
Areté Venue and Gallery | 67 West Street #103
Monday, June 18 at 8 PM
More info, $15

Multidisciplinary artist Mary Prescott curates and performs new works and collaborations involving music, movement, word and installation. This spring, on the 3rd Monday of each month from March to June 2018. At the brand new multi-use performance space and experimental art gallery, Areté Venue and Gallery in Greenpoint, BK.

8pm
He Disappeared into Complete Silence
A song cycle co-composed and performed by Darius Jones and Mary Prescott, inspired by Louise Bourgeois’ work, He Disappeared into Complete Silence.

9:15pm
Angélica Negrón
Pasajero (Passenger/Fleeting) is a collection of three ambient pop songs for voice, live electronics, vegetable synth (via the Ototo interface) and mechanical instruments built by Nick Yulman. Inspired by themes of collective and individual identity as well as the search for home, these songs combine elements of magical realism with fragile electroacoustic soundscapes crafted mostly through micro samples and found sounds. Exploring the convergence between the organic and the artificial by combining an unconventional domestic orchestra with automatic instruments that use robotic modules to play themselves, these songs seek also to highlight the sometimes- overlooked magic in the ostensibly insignificant, the mundane and the quotidian.

 

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New Sculpture in McGolrick Park Unearths Greenpoint’s Roots

Ziemia by Martynka Wawrzyniak on display at McGolrick Park
Revel in this, Greenpointers: the first new sculpture McGolrick Park has seen in decades will be unveiled on Saturday.
Ziemia: Our Stories Are Written in Soil  is a public art installation by New York-based Polish artist Martynka Wawrzyniak that reflects on the history of our jewel box neighborhood. Greenpoint is a melting pot of families of diverse backgrounds, holding significant cultural ties to Poland with the long-standing Polish diaspora situated in the neighborhood. In honor of the centennial celebration of Poland’s independence being restored, Ziemia is presented thanks to the support and collaboration of the Polish Cultural Institute New York as a multidisciplinary public art project opening from 2–5 PM on Saturday, June 9 with a wide range of activities. Visitors are invited to a family-friendly environment to appreciate the artwork, enjoy live music, educational workshops, and Polish snacks. There will even be a chance to win a trip to Poland by participating in the Sto Lat Polska project!

Continue reading

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Thursday Spotlight: Tony Wolf’s “Greenpoint of View” Reexamines and Celebrates Neighborhood

An illustration by Tony Wolf

History books should be written as comics. In his 20+ years in Greenpoint, illustrator Tony Wolf witnessed a multitude of changes in the neighborhood, whimsically capturing the effects of gentrification and hipsterdom in his cartoon serials. But even as Tony traced the evolution in the neighborhood, one thing remains constant: his unflappable wonder for Greenpoint, and the unbreakable sense of community that connects its residents. Through his Greenpoint of View comics, he elevates a lazy stroll through McCarren Park into something majestic, and documents the dawn of a new era via the arrival of Enid’s.

Outside of his Greenpoint of View passion project, Tony is also a voice-over actor, performer, and freelance cartoonist with bylines in The New York TimesNow, even as Tony has relocated (he’s moved all the way to Hoboken, but he’s a truer Greenpointer than most at heart), he still aims to continue his Greenpoint of View series — be on the lookout for more soon! Below, we discuss what bars should be revived, his favorite restaurants, and how he made friends on — you guessed it — the G Train.  Continue reading

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Famed beer garden Clinton Hall comes to Williamsburg!

Clinton Hall in Williamsburg

Clinton Hall, a modern take on a classic beer garden, known for its SUPERCRAFT™ beer and photo-worthy food offerings, has furthered its partnership with Pod Hotels to open a fifth location in Brooklyn. Located adjacent to the POD Hotel (247 Metropolitan Ave), the latest Clinton Hall is the second partnership with the POD brand. Continue reading

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Greenpoint Open Studios Walking Tour: The ABC’s at the Tip of Brooklyn

A guided walking tour of Greenpoint Open Studios, destinations outlined below!

Greenpoint knows its ABCs — the streets, as we all know and love, often move in an alphabetical fashion. But those first couple of streets, shorter and more ostracized than the rest, can sometimes seem a bit off the beaten track. This weekend’s Greenpoint Open Studios (June 2-3) creates the perfect excuse to meander “uptown” a bit and enjoy the free event. Read on below for where we think you should start, stop, and enjoy a sweet pit stop. Follow the map and enjoy! Continue reading

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Thursday Spotlight: Sharon Ascher Transforms Organic Patterns into Art

Sharon Ascher, Greenpoint Community Tapestry

Originally farmland, Greenpoint’s verdant name is an homage to pastures past. But even as trees have disappeared and skyscrapers have risen, local artist Sharon Ascher has had a keen eye for Brooklyn’s organically occurring patterns and nature’s geometric wonders. These terrestrial gifts influence her work, which will be on display in this weekend’s Greenpoint Open Studios. See her work in person at 80 Oak Street from 12pm-6pm this Saturday & Sunday (June 2 & 3), and learn more about her craft in this week’s Thursday Spotlight!

Greenpointers: It seems that much of your work is inspired by nature, yet you’ve lived in New York for decades. Can you discuss the influence the natural world has on your work within our urban epicenter?

Sharon Ascher: I was born in Brooklyn — A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: it only takes one tree to observe and experience the changing colors of the seasons. I grew up near Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and received my my BFA at Pratt. I traveled extensively, crossing the vast ocean, visiting beaches, and trekking mountains and caverns. I became more aware of the changing contours of our coastline caused by global warming.

I have been intrigued with organic shapes and textures and how they are affected by shadow, color, and light. I realized that the same forms are infinitely repeating themselves. This apparent phenomenon is often incorporated into my work. If we allow our minds to be open, our perceptions can change constantly; similar to the clouds as they dance in the the sky or the waves move in the ocean. This is all part of working with energy and its relationship to space.

This continual thread is interdependency: the simple quality of a brush stroke or a tear in paper. There seems to be a connection with the shapes that occur, and the reflections of the inner and outer landscapes. Continue reading

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Art Roundup June 1-8: Greenpoint Open Studios and More Local Events

Java Studios, the location of this year’s Greenpoint Open Studios Launch Party
We’ve been building up to this, neighbs! Greenpoint Open Studios returns this weekend, Saturday and Sunday June 2–3. Get your steps in, visit parts of the hood you’ve yet to explore, and check out local art! Along with this annual celebration, there’s a host of other goings-on taking place in the coming week — check out more below.

Greenpoint Open Studios
Where: Artists’ studios all over Greenpoint!
Saturday, June 2nd & Sunday, June 3rd | 12pm-6pm
More info, FREE
More than 400 local artists will open their studios to the public for a peek inside their craft. From paintings, sculptures, film, photography, weaving/textiles, ceramics, and more, there are seasoned artists to be visited and emerging artists to be discovered in the northernmost tip of Brooklyn. Plus, talks, tours, workshops and parties. Stay updated on all activities and events by joining the mailing list, liking on Facebook, and following on Instagram @greenpointopenstudios.
Full event schedule here.

Greenpoint Open Studios Launch Party
Java Studios | 252 Java Street
Friday, June 1 from 7:30–11:30 PM
More info, free
Join us to kick off Greenpoint Open Studios 2018 in style, at local art space Java Studios! Art, performance, music, drinks, tacos, and more.

Greenpoint Open Studios Wrap Party
Northern Territory | 12 Franklin Street
Sunday, June 3 from 6:30–11 PM
More info, free
Join other local creatives to wind down the art-filled weekend festivities on Northern Territory‘s beautiful rooftop with beer, food, music, good vibes, and a view of the Manhattan skyline. Participating Greenpoint Open Studios 2018 artists get one FREE beer by Founders Brewing!

Continue reading

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Ann Cofta Translates New York Icons into Embroidered Art

A vintage type writer, one of Ann Cofta’s many fabric creations

Ann Cofta finds details in the small: she sews her embroidered art entirely by hand, a slow and deliberate process that allows her to map out the entirety of a Brooklyn water tower or bridge in one small fabric. As a long-time New Yorker, she’s had years to soak in these architecture’s details and dispense them in her work. Ann is also no stranger to local art shows — she’ll be featured at Greenpoint Open Studios come June 2–3 — and below she shares her experience traveling the world, translating cityscapes into fabric, and finding an embroidery community in Brooklyn.

Greenpointers: How long have you lived in New York? Do you work or live in the neighborhood?

Ann Cofta: I’ve lived in New York for 22 years; I live nearby in Woodside (Queens), so I am able to walk to my art studio in Greenpoint. I taught in Brooklyn for 16 years and only recently took a job in Manhattan.

GP: We don’t come across many embroiderers as our local artists; I wonder if you’ve found a community of those artists here? 

AC: When there are open studios, exhibits, or other art events, I always seek out artists who work with fabric and embroidery. I am energized by the innovative work I see. I feel as though textile work is becoming a greater presence in the art world, in both galleries and museums. I am not aware of an established community of embroiderers in Brooklyn. However, Brooklyn Craft Company in Greenpoint, and the Textile Art Center in Gowanus, both offer classes. I recently joined the Textile Study Group of New York, which is a national organization that hosts monthly talks and occasional group shows. Continue reading

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