Haven’t gotten your fill of public art?
Take a walk down Lincoln Road between Flatbush and Ocean Avenue and see “Lincoln Road Serape” on the fence overlooking the subway. We stopped by yesterday as artist Katherine Daniels and friends weaved her work on site.
“I’m a bit of an art history nerd,” she said. “I looked at the bridge and I was thinking of diagonals and diamonds and I came upon some Navajo weavings that I thought were appropriate. I wanted to make a contemporary version of one.”
“I consider myself a sculptor but I use craft techniques,” said Daniels. “I’m weaving and sewing on a large scale and doing it very organically.”
The new piece replaces the popular installation by Crystal Gregory which decorated the area for the past year. What do you think of the new addition? Let PLOG know in the comments section.
The turnout for “The Neighborhood Show” was nothing short of inspiring yesterday afternoon, as hundreds of residents came to view local artworks from more than 50 separate contributors. The reception launched the second part of a month long community show that began with the popular “Between Neighbors” from Brian Fernandes-Halloran.
You can catch the exhibit from now until November 13 at 522 Flatbush Avenue. Monday-Friday 2-8 pm, Saturday 10-8 pm and Sunday 10-6 pm. Weekends will include a crafts market and live music. For the full schedule visit the PLG Arts website.
Once the location of Mike’s International Restaurant, 522 Flatbush Avenue has become host to a month long community art extravaganza. The first ten days of the exhibition is called “Between Neighbors” and features work from local artist Brian Fernandes-Halloran. PLOG stopped by the opening reception and spoke to the painter about his unique vision of the neighborhood.
“I started painting people around the area and realized that they were figures but not necessarily individuals to me. I wasn’t taking in my neighbors as much as I wanted,” said Fernandes-Halloran. “So my paintings started to change and became about the distance between us.”
The artist explained that his show began to transform into an opportunity to listen to locals and give them a chance to express themselves. In the gallery, visitors have the opportunity to write notes about experiences on their block, record videos in a “truth booth” and paint a message on a security gate.
“The gate is a metaphor for the transition of getting to know somebody,” he said. “It’s usually a symbol for ‘don’t enter.’ But as with people, sometimes you have to reposition yourself, walk around and be in a place where you can communicate openly.”
It took Fernandes-Halloran more than 18 months to secure a space by working with State Senator Eric Adams and organizations such as PLGNA and PLG Arts. And continuing with the theme of breaking down barriers, beginning October 30 the space will feature “The Neighborhood Show” which will include art pieces from dozens of residents, a craft market, live music and more. Be sure to stop by and take in the sights!
Urban art is a tradition is in our community, from the murals of PLG Arts to the many paintings PLOG has cataloged along our streets. But this past week saw the creation of a piece that we rate as unwarranted and probably unpermitted. While alcohol advertising isn’t illegal in New York City, adding a new billboard to a neighborhood requires more than just a paintbrush and a willing advertiser. Here’s hoping this new work on Winthrop Street and Flatbush Avenue just flakes away.
This past weekend saw the creation of a new art project in the hood and the renewal of another. On Fenimore Street, local organization PLG Arts metamorphosed a drab brick wall into a series of murals from community artists. And nearby, residents Joyous Gage and Kelley Bush once again welcomed a new season with one of their colorful window displays at the corner of Lincoln Road and Ocean Avenue.
When PLG Arts put up its murals in 2009, even Marty Markowitz came to celebrate the occasion. But the paintings on Lincoln Road and Flatbush Avenue are just part of a community tradition that turns unsightly facades into urban art. PLOG canvased the neighborhood and captured some of the longstanding works enhancing our streets. On Washington and Lefferts Avenues at the back of the Bond Bread building is a well-worn montage of African American sports heroes from Muhammad Ali to Michael Jordan. Head east to Empire Boulevard and Bedford Avenue and pay tribute to NYPD officers that fell in the line of duty protecting the 71st precinct. Then follow Empire back to Flatbush and you’ll find a safari of animals celebrating the Prospect Park Zoo and the less seen homage to the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers in the New York City Transit parking lot. Finally on the other side of the hood is a recognition of African history and culture at Bedford and Parkside Avenues.
New works are being commissioned all the time and rumor has it that the blank wall across from the 65 Fen wine shop may soon get the mural treatment as well. If you ask PLOG, perhaps the greatest canvas of all is the seemingly never ending white brick wall that runs from Washington to Bedford Avenues alongside the Western Beef supermarket on Empire. Just imagine! Take a look at the slides below to see the past, and possible future, of art in our community.
Update: We’ve added three additional sets of murals. On Lefferts and Rogers Avenues, the three little pigs have given up their quarrel with the wolf, but red riding hood remains aloof. Further south on Rogers at Winthrop Street, a medley of images is titled “Breathe Life.” To the east on Parkside and Nostrand Avenues, leaders from Obama to Malcolm X encourage students to “Believe, Persevere, Change, Think, Respect.” You can see how the blank wall on Fenimore Street turned out here.
PLOG didn’t know that wreath making was an art form unto itself. But for the third year K-Dog and Dunebuggy is inviting members of the community to show off their wreath making savvy and display their creations for all to admire. Imagination is encouraged and you shouldn’t limit yourself to the traditional. The more creative and original the better. Past displays have included wreaths made out of bullet casings, condoms and plastic army figures, respectively. I have been asked to advise that artworks should not contain anything that would freak out the Health Department, so no wreaths made out of shrimp, please.
If you are interested contact K-Dog and let them know you’ll be participating. The works will display from December 15 to January 15.
Joyous Gage and Kelley Bush are responsible for the ever changing displays at the bodega on the corner of Lincoln Road and Ocean Avenue (does it have a name? PLOG looked to no avail). The latest display may be their best one yet, evoking a sense of winter joy that has yet to arrive in our neck of the woods. Still not satisfied, they were later seen decorating Gino’s new restaurant on Flatbush Avenue. They receive no grant, subsidy or payment for this. They do it because they love our neighborhood and we love them for it.