art

Thursday Spotlight: Heather Garland

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Heather Garland at her studio, wearing Starhawk Designs

Heather Garland has been making art in Greenpoint since 2005, and as an artist she’s evolved alongside the neighborhood’s own transformation. Garland, a graduate of Pratt Institute, is a skilled and talented painter who blends her classic art background with the world of found objects.

Garland is fascinated by the functionality of objects and how their value changes when you consider their worth solely as art pieces. She mentioned an example: the bowl you place your cereal in literally feeds you, while an artistic bowl you might hang on a wall will feed your soul. Initially she started exploring painting on plates as a way to give herself a break from doing larger scale paintings.

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Abortion, photo by Maggie Shannon, courtesy of Honey Ramka

Garland’s first plates were done quite fast, as a way to get a quick hit of satisfaction as she pursued pleasure through making artwork. Now her plates tend to be more intricate. Following this pursuit of pleasure coupled with her intellect, Garland assigns these plates a deeper value than their inherent functional one.

The titles of her works add a layer of meaning to the plates—like Abortion, a flower-like, fringe-infused plate artwork that is a part of the Nasty Woman exhibition at Knockdown Center (52-19 Flushing Ave.), curated by Garland’s friend, Roxanne Jackson. 

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Thursday Spotlight: Illustrator Jen Keenan

Jen Keenan - Greenpoint print
Jen Keenan – Greenpoint print

Greenpoint illustrator Jen Keenan’s work is both cheerful and comforting in its handcrafted imperfection. Inspired by vintage children’s books, animals, our awesome neighborhood, and more recently our country’s political climate, her work brings you into a world that radiates strength and positivity. Proceeds from prints on her site will be donated to help fund the NYC chapter of the post-inaugural Women’s March on Washington next weekend January 21st.

GP: What do you love most about Greenpoint?

Jen: “I really love the little historic blocks in Greenpoint. A lot of the neighbors sit out on their stoops in the summer, and we all stop and chat while the dogs briefly play. Every August there is a Calyer Street block party organized by some of the neighbors who grew up along Calyer. Everyone sets out tents and food and pitches in money for a food truck and waterslide /bouncy gym for the kids. It’s nice to have a bit of that quaint charm and friendly neighbor vibe. It makes you forget you live in such a big city.” Continue reading

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Calling All Crafters: Brooklyn Craft Co. Is Hiring Teachers!

Brooklyn Craft Co. Photo: Patty Scull
Inside Brooklyn Craft Co.’s space – Photo by Patty Scull

It’s a new year, which means it’s a good time to reset with new career goals and aspirations. If you’re handy with a needle and thread or a paintbrush, you may be in luck—Brooklyn Craft Co. (165 Greenpoint Ave.) is seeking some new instructors.

Per Brooklyn Craft Co: “If you teach crafts / DIY and you’re based in the NYC area, we want to hear from you. We are seeking paid instructors in the following subjects:

  • Garment Sewing
  • Crochet
  • Quilting
  • Painting & Art
  • Macrame
  • Loom Weaving
  • Cross Stitch
  • Embroidery
  • Drop Spindle Yarn Spinning
  • Dyeing

Brooklyn Craft Co looking for teachersTO APPLY: Please email hello [at] brooklyncraftcompany.com with the following:

  • Tell us about yourself, including your background in the area you want to teach, and online links to your current work (such as your blog, Etsy shop, Instagram, etc).
  • A brief description of 1-3 workshops you would like to teach with us, including a description of what you would cover in class and the finished project students would make.”

Brooklyn Craft Co. is located at 165 Greenpoint Ave. Follow them on Instagram.

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17 Frost Hosts Celebratory Exhibition on 12/22 Prior to Major Renovation

This Thursday evening December 22, local multi-use art space 17 Frost presents its last show before shutting its doors for renovation and expansion. Curator Ellis Gallagher affectionately framed the event as a “celebration of community and art by cohorts and codefendants.” The show will feature well over 200 works by more than 100 artists including former Basquiat collaborator and graffiti icon Al Diaz, the vandal collective Poster Boy, the Iranian-born duo ICY and SOT, as well as Mr. Toll, Skewville, Choice Royce among other street art luminaries.

On January 1, the exhibition space at 17 Frost will shut down for six to twelve months, according to Gallagher. Plans include adding three to four floors to the existing one story structure, as well as a bar and small café. The theater and recording studio, located behind the gallery, intends to stay open save for a couple months during the renovation. In its augmented incarnation, 17 Frost will remain not-for-profit.

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Thursday Spotlight: Pinpoint—Pins, Punk Rock and Friendship

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Bold will hold. This phrase, most commonly associated with the tattooing style of early traditional artists, signifies designing tattoos with a bold, thick line style that holds up beautifully over the years. Guys like Norman Collins (commonly known as Sailor Jerry) or his predecessor Amund Dietzel, preferred this style as smaller and more intricate designs tended to fade and wear away.

_mg_0526To the women who co-founded the breakout Greenpoint pin and patch company Pinpoint, the phrase applies in a different way. It not only drives their stylistic choices, but also serves as a metaphor for what it means to be young in New York and to begin a somewhat risky project with a lifelong friend.

Not surprisingly, Samantha Freeman and Emily June met during a high school art class in their home town of Cornwall, New York. As something that now seems like a predecessor to their future business together, they bonded over making stuffed animals outside of class. A few years later the two parted ways for college. Emily stayed in New York to study design and Samantha headed down to Florida to get her degree in dentistry. Years later they reconnected, and armed with new sets of skills and business savvy, they managed to found Pinpoint in the midst of navigating their lives in New York City.
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Gritty, Rapidly Disappearing Cityscapes by Monte Antrim

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Monte Atrim’s “Last World Problems”

A talented local artist and designer, Monte Antrim, is displaying his unique images at South 4th Bar & Cafe (90 South 4th St.) in a show titled “Last World Problems.” The installation, which will open on Saturday, December 10th and run through January 5th, differs from other shows he has done in the past. Last World Problems will feature small affordable silkscreens, perfect for holiday gifts, and also several collage and acrylic pieces on plywood panels.

A talented sketch artist with unique designs, Antrim has gained a considerable local reputation for his local scenes, many of which feature gritty, rapidly disappearing cityscapes. His impressive sketches include a wide variety of other scenes, yet each captures something unique. Continue reading

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Art Sale & Call For Artist + Musician Residencies: The Hollows Transforms

Previous exhibit, "Monologue Relief" by Margarete Hentze at The Hollows.
Previous exhibit, “Monologue Relief” by Margarete Hentze at The Hollows.

Williamsburg art gallery/studio/performance space The Hollows (151 Bedford Ave.) is restructuring its townhouse space so that each of the 5 floors of the building will be designated for a different discipline/medium. As a result, they’re clearing out their basement storage and turning it into a music studio.

The basement clean-out art sale is happening this Friday, November 25th (through November 28) at Lower East Side gallery Chinatown Soup (16B Orchard Street). Details after the jump, and read about their call for artists and musicians in residence! Continue reading

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Major Retropective Honors Greenpoint Artist

Questroyal Gallery at 903 Park Avenue in Manhattan will host an important retrospective of great Greenpoint painter Ralph Blakelock from November 11th through December 10th. The show is titled “Ralph Albert Blakelock: The Great Mad Genius Returns” and will feature many of his works. Continue reading

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Newtown Creek Clean by 2035!, BQE Weekend Woes, and Greenpoint is the New Home Design Capital of the World! – The Hook-up 10/28

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Enjoying a beautiful sunset in McCarren Park.

A green cab driver was shot in the leg early last Friday morning when he tried to speed away from two armed assailants attempting to rob him and his passenger. The incident happened at the intersection of North Eighth and Berry streets at 3:15am. Check out this article from DNAinfo for more details.

Newtown Creek will be swimmable by 2035! Actually, don’t quote me on that swimmable thing, but according to this piece from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, at last week’s Superfund Community Advisory Group (CAG) meeting, the EPA announced plans for the remediation of Newtown Creek. Unfortunately, the plans wouldn’t even begin to show results until 2025 at the earliest.

According to this article from the Wall Street Journal, sculptor Barry X Ball will be moving his studio from Williamsburg to Greenpoint in the Spring. The space, at 193 Banker St., is currently being renovated specifically for him, and according to Mr. Ball, once it’s finished will be “the only comprehensive stone fabrication facility in the world.”

Local Greenpointer Kim Brown, who is the owner of Greenpoint Hill (100 Freeman St.) got some press this week in this lovely piece from Bedford + Bowery. Brown is a ceramicist herself and her gallery features work from mostly Greenpoint-based artists.

Greenpoint has been dubbed “the new home design capital of the world” according to this recent article from Vogue.

Some of last weekend’s Greenpoint Halloween festivities, including the Town Square Spooktacular and P.S. 110’s annual fall festival, were captured in this piece from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Some of the photos are especially great!

Guys dressed up as construction workers for Halloween will be preventing anyone from passing under the BQE this weekend. Actually, they are real construction workers, but seriously, traveling from one side of the BQE to the other will be difficult this weekend. Three out of six avenues that travel under the highway in Greenpoint will be closed. Check out this piece from The Williamsburg Patch for more info.

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Sunday Snaps – Minstrels of Greenpoint

There are a few things that just make you stop dead in your tracks and smile. Maybe you’re even in a hurry, rushing along down the street, and then that wondrous sound comes to your ears – a voice and some sweet strums of an instrument playing a favorite song of yours. I’ve always thought musicians are to a neighborhood what fish are to a stream – an indicator of health and liveliness. If you can walk around for a whole day and not see anyone walking down the sidewalk carrying an instrument or sharing a song, you might want to think twice about what that says about the creative vitality of the place. Luckily for us, Greenpoint is full of musicians, and so today’s photo essay honors these minstrels and everyday suppliers of soul.

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I found Jack Simchak breaking in a new guitar of his in McCarren Park. He was playing some beautiful classical guitar arpeggiations, which fit the feeling of a gorgeous late October day perfectly. Check out Jack’s project, Resident Electric.

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