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.
Yesterday, the artist Geoff Rawling started painting a mural along Beach 116th Street in the Rockaways. The mural will be right along the intersection of Newport Avenue. Work will last through the weekend, and should be finished by the middle of next week. According to the Beach 116th Street Partnership, Geoff Rawling has designed many murals in the Rockaway and has a relative amount of freedom to improvise with his design. For now, he’s planning a welcoming mural that will show a beach scene and silhouettes of beach goers that will look like people waiting at a bus stop — there is a bus stop right in front of the wall. Stay tuned for the final product!
On August 1st in 1994, the arts non profit Flux Factory came to be. They moved to Long Island City in 2002, first at a space on 43rd Street and then to their present location on 29th Street. Now this Friday, August 1st, the organization will celebrate its 20th anniversary. They are holding a big exhibition called Homecoming, a display of 20 years of artwork, inventions and archives. The exhibition will be free and open to the public from 6 to 9 pm this Friday, then there’s a ticketed banquet on Saturday, August 2nd. The banquet includes a five-course vegetarian meal followed by rooftop drinks and a dance party. According to Flux, “The evening will raise funds towards the next 20 years of incredible collaboration and experimentation.” (Tickets are $50 for dinner and dancing, $15 for just dancing.)
Check out all the details here, and purchase tickets to the banquet here.
This Saturday marks the opening of Socrates Sculpture Park’s new LIC exhibit at 43-29 Crescent Street. The formerly asphalt parking lot, now transformed into a green space, houses a “pool” by the artist Tamara Johnson. Johnson is the second artist to present their work at “The Lot,” as it’s called — a sculpture piece debuted here last summer. Here are details on Backyard Pool from Socrates:
As her title suggests, Johnson’s installation formally resembles small family pools that are ubiquitous in many suburban backyards across the country, and especially in the artist’s hometown of Waco, Texas. By inserting faithful details, from ceramic tiles to a full-sized diving board, into this landscape, Backyard Pool offers a moment of intimacy and serenity to the bustling urbanity of Long Island City.
The opening reception for the art installation will be held from 3 to 5 pm. Then The Lot is free and open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 6 pm. M. Wells, located right next door, will also use The Lot for a music festival starting in August.