The SculptureCenter will officially reveal its shiny new expansion on Sunday, October 5th! The addition will include a new entrance lobby with a coatroom, restrooms and seating area, expanded exhibition space, an elevator and stairway to the lower level galleries and a 1,500-square-foot enclosed courtyard. Work started up this spring, and the SculptureCenter remained open throughout the construction project.
The Court Square Blog posted awesome photos of the new interior — pictured above is the view from the main entrance. CSB reports that the SculptureCenter will celebrate its expansion with the new exhibit “Puddle, pothole, portal.” And from 12 to 3 pm on October 5th, there will be free activities at the center including art-making, music, food, tours and the official opening ceremony. From 2 to 5 pm, there will be music and drinks in the courtyard.
Great news! The Secret Theatre, which started an Indiegogo fundraising campaignin August, just surpassed its fundraising goal. The theatre started having money problems after the founder found out that the building was not DOB compliant, and the theatre was hit with Department of Buildings fines. The Secret Theatre aimed to raise $10,0000 to go toward closing its funding gap and making crucial building upgrades.
Queens Courier notes that that happened just yesterday, when funding hit $10,860. Founder Richard Mazda doesn’t just plan to pay off the building fines, there are plans for renovations like adding a restroom inside the Little Theatre. He also hopes to establish the theatre as a nonprofit organization.
On Sunday, September 6th Socrates Sculpture Park opens its annual Emerging Artist Fellowship (EAF) Exhibition. There will be 15 EAF14 artists on display, selected through a highly competitive process and a pool of nearly 300 candidates. This year’s artwork takes many forms, like an office cubicle, an interior room built with a false perspective, massive carved raw timbers, and a NYPD SkyWatch Tower with arachnid legs. (Check out a preview of the artist’s work right here.)
The opening celebration will last from 3 pm to 6 pm, and the entire exhibit will be on display until March 22nd of 2015.
Calling all World’s Fair enthusiasts: the New York Times ran a nice profile on the Queens Museum’s latest exhibit, Behind the Curtain: Collecting the New York Fairs, and spills details on the museum’s World’s Fair memorabilia. The exhibit showcases just about any type of memorabilia related to both World’s Fairs, including souvenirs, Sony’s first portable television, touchtone phones, tickets and a preserved candy bar. There’s even a display case dedicated to the Society of American Magicians, who served as spokesmen to explain new products to the passing crowds.
As the New York Times says, “The closing of both fairs created a diaspora. Objects dispersed, in centrifugal motion, scattering the length and breadth of the land. By strange, circuitous routes, they have been coming back home.” And the exhibit curator, Louise Weinberg, agrees: “That’s the beauty of this museum. The magnetic aura of both the fairs brings these things back. People are just coming out of the woodwork.” You can catch the exhibit until October of 2015.
The Secret Theatre, an arts organization in Long Island City, just kicked off a fundraising campaign. The theatre is known for hosting two annual short play festivals, a variety of in-house shows and weekly children’s theater. The organization, however, has run into problems with its building and needs $10,000 to take care of it. Here are more details from the Indiegogo fundraising campaign:
After a tough year when we discovered that the building we were in was not compliant we were hit with Dept of Buildings fines, architect fees and we had to move the Little Theatre to a different location with all the attendant moving and construction costs. Our budgets are tiny and with no real reserve to speak of we are dealing with a cash hole that threatens our existence. The Secret has become a major contributor to the cultural life of Western Queens and LIC and has been responsible for creating a theatre scene in LIC where none previously existed. With your help we can continue to win plaudits from The New York Times [multiple critics pick awards] also many shows and artists have won or been nominated for the New York Innovative Theatre Awards, we can continue to support awesome artists and to push the envelope of what can be achieved in a borough that needs us.
The $10,000 will go toward the theatre closing its funding gap and making crucial building upgrades. There are rewards for donating, like becoming a sponsor of one of the annual festivals. To check out the full campaign, go here.
The Museum of the Moving Image announced an awesome street fair planned for September — New York on Location. It’ll take plan on Sunday, September 21st from 11 am to 5 pm. This is a free, day-long and family-friendly event at the Kaufman Astoria Studios offering a special look at film production in NYC. Kaufman Astoria Studio will open movie trailers and trucks to the public, and movie professionals will be on hand to talk about about what they do on set. There will also be stunt professionals demonstrating high falls, street fighting and stunt driving. Food will even be available from movie catering trucks.
It’ll all take place on the backlot at Kaufman Astoria Studios, at the Museum of the Moving Image and on the surrounding streets. Can’t wait for this one!
Photo by Pat Alvarado for the Museum of the Moving Image
The Beach 116th Street Partnership just finished up this great mural now on display along Beach 116th Street and Newport Avenue. The artist, Geoff Rawling, has painted a number of murals throughout the neighborhood. He started on this one at the beginning of the month. Proceeds from this spring’s Poland’s International Children’s Day festival (which happened on Beach 116th Street) funded the artwork.
Sunday, I decided to go check out the Astoria Shore Fest. The annual event closes Shore Road, allowing Astorians the chance to mill about on the normally busy thoroughfare which sits between Astoria Park and the Hells Gate section of the East River. The event is conducted by the Astoria Park Alliance, and this year it was blessed by fantastic weather.
Very nice! Here’s the progress of the mural going up on Beach 116th Street, at the intersection of Newport Avenue. Work started last week and should be finished by this week’s end. The artist, Geoff Rawling, designed a welcoming mural of a beach scene, including silhouettes of beach goers that will look like people waiting at a bus stop. He has designed a number of other murals in the neighborhood. The photo above comes from the Beach 116th Street Partnership, who are using funds from the Poland’s International Children’s Day Festival this year for the public artwork.
The folks over at Groundswell contacted me last week, advising that the start of their 2014 schedule of mural painting was at hand. Their list of projects spanned three boroughs, with murals being created in Queens’s South Jamaica and Jackson Heights, over in Brooklyn’s Brownsville, Bushwick, and Greenpoint, and a couple of installations were even happening up in the Boogie down Bronx as well.
I opted to visit the Jackson Heights project, which was set to occur on the wall of a supermarket found at 34-20 Junction Boulevard. The actual mural project is on 34th Road, which is between 34th and 35th avenues.
Groundswell brings together artists, youth, and community organizations to use art as a tool for social change for a more just and equitable world. Our projects beautify neighborhoods, engage youth in societal and personal transformation, and give expression to ideas and perspectives that are underrepresented in the public dialogue.