DUMBO Arts Festival to transform waterfront into art playground

More than 300 artists represented at free 3-day festival in DUMBO

September 27, 2013 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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From an audio-visual projection spanning the Manhattan Bridge Archway to a massive ever-shifting quilt in Brooklyn Bridge Park to an ancient ship festooned with drawings by New York City students on the East River, the 17th Annual DUMBO Arts Festival, sponsored by AT&T and Two Trees, will offer a free feast for the senses this weekend from September 27-29.


This year’s schedule showcases extraordinary art by more than 300 local, national, and international artists representing nations from as far away as Russia, India, Mexico, Taiwan, and Japan. Set against the backdrop of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline, the Festival will unfold across the DUMBO neighborhood, from shops, streets, and building walls to parks, alleyways and the East River itself. Performances and exhibits will fill more than 50 venues while 100 artists’ studios will open their doors as the entire neighborhood becomes an exuberant arts playground.


News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Hailed as “one of New York City’s most exciting events” by The Huffington Post, The DUMBO Arts Festival is a brilliant three-day bonanza of free contemporary art for all. More than 200,000 people are expected to attend what has become one of the city’s largest and most ambitious arts events, reimagining a tech-friendly and culturally rich hub as a grand gallery and a boundless stage. The Festival is presented by Presenting Sponsors AT&T and Two Trees Management Co.


“The 17th Annual DUMBO Arts Festival offers an extraordinary opportunity to experience and discover art outside the standard gallery and museum setting,” said Lisa Kim, Festival Director. “The work is experimental and interactive and will be sure to engage everyone who comes to experience the Festival.”  


As the city prepares to mark the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, the DUMBO Arts Festival will explore its impact with special installations, including a series of colorful floating extension bumpers along the waterfront (EXTRA PERIMETERS by Kim Holleman) and a temporary artist-built recording studio where festival-goers can share their Sandy stories (RADIO WAVE by Lillian Gerson). Other timely artwork includes a massive three-dimensional portrait of Bradley Manning providing a canopy over Water Street.


For the first time this year, the AT&T Festival Lounge, hosted by presenting sponsor AT&T, will be situated at the heart of the Festival at One Main Street at Plymouth Street, ensconced in a cavernous former restaurant with stunning vistas onto the art unfolding between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. The lounge will be filled with interactive artworks that explore the intersection of music and technology and invite viewers to create their own unique aural inventions.


Highlights of the 17th Annual DUMBO Arts Festival include:

·  An ancient ship with a sail stitched together from hundreds of paintings created by New York City-area school children will arrive by sea to the DUMBO waterfront as part of SHIP OF TOLERANCE, an art installation by acclaimed Russian artists Ilya and Emilia Kabokov that has travelled the world since 2006 (New York City debut).

·  BROOKLYN LAWN QUILT by Fort Makers will transform a swath of Brooklyn Bridge Park into a massive interactive art exhibit as festival-goers arrange picnic blankets made of painted canvas into evolving designs, which will be photographed from the Manhattan Bridge.

·  In THE BUBBLES OF HOPE PERFORMANCE ART PROCESSIONAL by Andrey Bartenev, a group of 20 moving sculptures will descend upon Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Sweeping through the streets handing out props, masks, and noisemakers, the processional will become a growing, living organism as all festival-goers are invited to join in the fun.

·  In BARTERTOWN by The Heather Hart Experience, participants are invited to bring anything they think may hold value — their own ideas, services, songs, stories, unwanted goods, handmade art, appliances – and haggle for something they want.

·  Studies of modernist design principles in sculptural form in Brooklyn Bridge Park: HALF STORY MOUNTAIN by Grayson Cox and UNTITLED TABLE/BENCHES/CUBE FOR CHILDREN by Michael Clyde Johnson.  

·  At THE KIDLOT, in Brooklyn Bridge Park at the bottom of Washington Street, kids and festival-goers of all ages enjoy a range of activities, from the Dada Playground and the Family Art Workshop with Creatively Wild Studios, to the Drawbots, which mix standard drawing materials like magic markers with weighted motors and cups for drawing.

·  BOOKSHOP WORKSHOPS will present developmental workshops of plays, bringing audiences and emerging writers together in community-oriented process that challenges the way we engage with, create, and come to the theatre.

·  In CONCRETE JUSTICE by Theatre of the Oppressed NYC, actors with firsthand experiences of homelessness use their own real-life stories to create a play about navigating the bureaucratic hoops of reintegration into housing and employment. After each performance, audience members will be invited to come onstage and theatrically brainstorm alternatives to the problems the play presents.

·  In the ITP RESIDENTS SHOW 2013, a group of seven Resident Researchers from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program present recent pieces that make creative use of technology.  These artists combine programming with sound, video, digital fabrication, and physical interaction to create work that explores a diverse variety of concepts, ideas, and experiences.

·  The 85 Washington Street Festival Gallery, an empty storefront transformed into an exhibition space for the Festival, will present a video and multimedia program of works exploring issues of labor, identity, and place.

·  Reflecting DUMBO’s and the Festival’s role as a year-round cultural force, an extensive new mural project along the BQE (DUMBO WALLS) will feature contributions from Shepard Fairey, Stefan Sagmeister, and Craig Anthony Miller (a.k.a. CAM). The project is presented by a partnership of the DUMBO Improvement District, Two Trees Management Co, NYC Department of Transportation Urban Art Program, and Jonathan LeVine Gallery.

The full Festival schedule can be found at http://dumboartsfestival.com/find-art/ . For the latest updates on artists and exhibitors, follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter @dumboartsfest.

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