For years I used to love taking the number seven train through Long Island City just to see the amazing 5 Pointz building and its amazing graffiti. Some called it “The United Nations of Graffiti” because of the international artists who created the art there. Other people dubbed it “the world’s only graffiti museum.” The owner, Jerry Wolkoff, had given the artists’ permission to use the building as a canvas for “aerosol art” and the building was covered in multicolored murals and tags, making it a tourist mecca as artists and fans of graffiti art from around the world traveled to see the former industrial building in Long Island City that artists had decorated for two decades. Continue reading
Greenpoint’s industrial past is well known, and its emerging identity as an artist’s hub might seem like a 21st century phenomenon, but back in 1888, Greenpoint was sporting its very own artists’ colony. That year, Mary Fisher, of 71 Java Street, opened her home as the Home Hotel Association, a residence for elderly “Brain Workers.” According to the plaque marking the historic site, Fisher defined “Brain Workers” as men and women “who had labored in literature or art or any other brain profession.” The Home operated on Java Street until 1912, when it moved to two separate locations: one in Mount Vernon, NY, and another in Tenafly, New Jersey.
Mary Fisher was an Englishwoman inspired by the old age pensions which support the elderly in the UK. Social Security wasn’t established in the United States until 1935, so there was no public safety net for older people who had retired, or were out of work. In The Story of the Mary Fisher Home, published 1915, Fisher wrote, “I remembered that in Europe, pensions were often accorded to those who, during their lifetimes, had been of some benefit to the nation, and it seemed to me that in this country the people must do what the government failed to do, and I hoped that in time we might have a national fund for this purpose.”
Fisher appealed to notable New Yorkers for their in kind or financial support, and was well received by Fredrick Barnard, then the President of Columbia University. He introduced her to a variety of prominent and charitable New Yorkers, including Mrs. Andrew Carnegie, but not everybody believed that “brain workers” deserved philanthropic support. In fact, upon hearing the appeal, one woman said, “A home for old authors and artists! My! What a company of cranks! What will you do with them?” Continue reading
This weekend at the Park Church Co-Op (129 Russell Street), you’re in store for some consciousness-raising, togetherness, performances and an art benefit sale. 100% of proceeds will go to Make the Road NY, a network of courageous folks who stand up for immigrant and working class communities, communities of color, and LGBTQIA people. Raffle items include gift certificates from local businesses, and B’s Bikes (262 Driggs Ave), Van Leeuwen (620 Manhattan Ave) and Drama Club (211 Nassau Ave) have all donated to help the cause. You can follow Sanctuary on Instagram, where they’ll be previewing artworks for sale and the line-up of performance and installation artists. Artists who’ve donated pieces include: Ruby Palmer, Betsy Alwin, Paula Stuttman, Chantelle Norton, Amy Talluto, Ed Woodham, Jess Rosen, Diana Rodgers, Thomas Lendvai, Christen Clifford, RA Friedman, Michael Hambouz, Anna Ortiz, Sharela May Bonfield, Sejin Park, John Boone, and Marcia Cooper.
The event goes from 5-11pm on Saturday, and on Sunday from 1-4pm they’ll have a panel discussion that focuses on actionable ways to work for justice in a current climate of fear, anger and frustration at government policies. Bring your friends and collect some beautiful art for an excellent cause; enjoy music, performance art, food, and drink!
RSVP on Facebook Continue reading
Nazi Leprechauns and Killer Crabs at Film Noir Cinema Presented by The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies! (Tomorrow, Tues, 9/19)
Tomorrow night (Tues, 9/19) at Film Noir Cinema (122 Meserole Ave), the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies presents NYC-based author, performer and miscreant Grady Hendrix, who will chat about his latest book, Paperbacks From Hell: The Twisted History of ’70s and ’80s Horror Fiction, followed by a panel discussion with the talented artists behind some of the most disturbing horror novel covers of all time. After trolling the shelves of secondhand shops and used bookstores, Grady was inspired to pen a detailed history of horror fiction’s big boom in the late ’70s and early-to-mid ’80s. Three big-hit books kicked off the popular category: Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist and The Other. Prior to that, “Horror was not a genre,” says Grady.
After their colossal success, publishers saw a ripe new market, and a moneymaking opportunity—and the crazy cover graphics were essentially advertisements for the books themselves. Some of the smaller horror publishers couldn’t afford B-list or even C-list writers, so they’d put all of their budgets into hiring the best cover artists. “They knew the one chance they had to sell this book was the cover art,” Grady says. “You want to stand out… and you’ve got one chance.” And the more over-the-top the cover art was, the better. Grady’s seen ’em all: from a skeleton delivering mail to Nazi leprechauns to killer crabs, horror art was definitely having its heyday. Continue reading
Greenpoint’s unique creative and design workspsace (plus cafe) A/D/O (29 Norman Ave) is hooking up with Futureworks to offer a four month sponsored workspace membership to New York-based designers with prototyping and production opportunities, access to co-working space, and design mentorship. The winning designer or team of two will be awarded a desk membership to A/D/O’s workspace starting in mid-September. Members will have unlimited access to the Fabrication Lab, which includes rapid protoyping equipment including 3D printers, a digital loom, sewing machines, high-end printers, a vinyl cutter and a duplicator, a lighting kit and tabletop photo setups.
Applications are due on August 31, and the selection will be announced on September 8. Applicants must be based in, and manufacturing products in, New York City. The four month membership will commence any time between September 15 and October 1.
Greenpoint TREMORS: Political & Social Reactions — Art Opening TONIGHT (8/17) + Dance Party Saturday
New(ish) art gallery Point Green (260 Java Street) is hosting a multidisciplinary group art show opening tonight (8/17), called TREMORS, in response to recent political and social upheaval, with a portion of proceeds going to charities nominated by the artists (including the ACLU and Planned Parenthood among others). Tonight’s opening (6-9pm) will include performances by Nyssa Frank and DeDeeDame. On Saturday from 7-11pm they’ll host a night of music and dance, with performances by Ninjasonik, Howardian, Jocko Weyland, Cathy de la Cruz, and DM Kinch. Scott Sternbach and violinist Andrei Matorin will host an artist talk & performance on August 30th from 6 – 10 PM.
Since last September, when the art space and creative incubator GAMBA Forest opened its doors at 231 Norman Avenue, it has hosted artists working in nearly every medium and genre. Last Saturday night, over fifteen of those artists came out to support the first of two fundraising events GAMBA is hosting as it gets ready to head to new digs. As artists shared their music, poetry and dance, one attendee welcomed others by passing out flowers.
GAMBA Forest and its welcoming vibes will be relocating in September, and is asking for your help to ensure that “the artist community that has united at GAMBA Forest will not be lost or displaced.” To do that, Melissa Hunter Gurney and Chris Carr, of Brooklyn Wildlife, who run the space, need “to raise the money for the ridiculous amount of funds attached to putting down on a new commercial space in Brooklyn.”
Rally for a Better Loft Law | Thursday May 25 | 7-9pm
@ San Damiano Mission | 85 N 15th St
If you know any North Brooklyn artists in live/work spaces, you probably know someone who is affected by the Loft Law. Artists and creatives are being pushed out of many NYC neighborhoods, including our own Greenpoint and Williamsburg, and luckily you can support the local art community to help artists stay put. On Thursday evening, all are welcome to join tenants, artists, elected officials and housing advocates to show support for the 2017 Loft Law “Clean-Up” Bill. Speakers will include state and local elected officials, loft lawyers, artists and tenant advocates.
If you haven’t been before, Greenpoint Open Studios is an epic showcase of local art. Over the course of one weekend (this year June 3-4), hundreds of local artists open their studio doors to the public for an exciting peek inside their craft. It’s an uncurated, free event that allows visitors to get a glimpse of the process and space where artwork is created while engaging directly with its creators. Brooklyn has a long-standing reputation for being a hotbed of creativity and GOS is going to represent its northernmost tip in true Greenpoint fashion—by keepin’ it real—providing an open platform for showcasing the various expressions of our creative community’s imagination and skills. This year, we have more than 400 artists participating, and an exciting lineup of events: Continue reading
Here’s just a few of the 400 artists participating in GOS for our latest “Artists to Watch!” installment.
See you June 3 & 4 for GOS 2017!
RACHAEL SENCHOWAY, Painting
Brooklyn Art Studios 276 Greenpoint Ave Building 1 Studio #1305
Psychedelic, Surreal, Space, Narratives