DUMBO Arts Festival promises visual spectacle, from the bizarre to the sublime

September 27, 2012 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Head to DUMBO this weekend for one of the most unusual events in New York City’s art scene: the 2012 DUMBO Arts Festival, where more than 200,000 guests are expected at the three-day festival featuring over 500 artists, 100 studios, and 50 galleries and stages.

The Arts Festival transforms the already-artsy neighborhood from Friday through Sunday, September 28 to 30, taking over its streets, parks, loading docks, art galleries, and artist studios.

Expect the unexpected: Installations include floating sculptures in the East River Cove, projections on landmarks, a “foto” hamlet made of shipping containers, interactive social experiments, paths marked by piles of rocks known as cairns, and performances of all kinds.

“Superhero,” for example, is an interactive experience where participants are able to “fly” over the historic Empire Stores while enjoying a number of superpowers (like throwing light balls or becoming gigantic).

The Sculptors Guild will create artwork with molten iron and will conduct an “iron pour” on the street. A group of artists exploring communications technologies will exhibit their work at the Center for the Recently Possible. The BAC Gallery (Brooklyn Arts Council) will be turned into a tree shrine. (Nestled in the branches is a herd of magical Deerfly.)

The waterfront will be the site of family programming, with fine art and media workshops based on the water, the park, and the carousel. A carousel-making workshop will take inspiration from Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Other workshops will include a stop-motion animation workshop and a Clay Bar, in which children sculpt animals using modeling clay.

Festival hours are 6-9 p.m. Friday, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Outdoor projections will be seen from sundown to midnight each day.

The venues are spread out across DUMBO from Brooklyn Bridge Park as far east as Hudson Avenue. AT&T is the presenting sponsor of the festival. Visit dumboartsfestival.com to download the full guide.

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