Contemporary Culture from the Bottom Up

DUMBO Arts Festival 2013 Highlights

You are (on) an island by Alicia Eggert and Mike Fleming. The word ‘on’ in this neon installation flickers on and off so that it alternately reads “you are an island.”
Photo Courtesy of Erika Pettersen

One of the most dramatically transformed neighborhoods in New York City, DUMBO has turned into a mecca for the tech-savvy and art aficianados alike. In 2011, DUMBO stepped it up a notch by hosting the first DUMBO Arts Festival, a free 3-day public event that pulls in over 200,000 visitors. Artistic variety is well-represented at the festival, with over 400 artists of different mediums participating. This year was the festivals third and included 50 participating local galleries and 100 open artists’ studios, in addition to the numerous stages for live performances and outdoor film screenings.

Part of the joy in attending the festival is the taking in all the juxtapositions at once, in terms of both the art and the environment. DUMBO has become one of NYC’s most expensive neighborhoods, with its fair share of luxury skyscrapers, but it still maintains that old-time feel with train-track lined cobblestone streets and its abounding 19th century factories and warehouses. All this charm is set to the backdrop of an unbeatable view of the Manhattan skyline and the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. Add in the popular neighboring Brooklyn Heights promenade with its 18th century mansions and brownstone streets and the plethora of cute shops and restaurants along the way and it’s easy to understand why this is such a popular spot throughout the year.

 

The festival itself successfuly echoes the unique architectural diversity of the neighborhood by showcasing art in different ways: well-lit and properly hung in the upscale galleries on 111 Front Street, makeshift displays among works in progress at the artists’ studios, projections against the base of the Manhattan Bridge, performed on pop-up stages along the streets and installed technologically around the park. An added bonus this year was the inclusion of Photoville, a pop-up photgraphy exhibit that repurposed freight containers as exhibition spaces.

Check out some of our favorite pieces from the festival below! There are two videos of installations at the end:

 

<em> Aaj Tak </em> by Linka Odom, an outdoor photographic light box installation about modern India. You can catch a glimpse of one of the freight containers used as an exhibition space in the back, to the left.

Aaj Tak by Linka Odom, an innovative outdoor photographic light box installation about modern India. One of her photographs in work here; it is recommended that they be viewed at night in the dark. You can catch a glimpse of one of the freight containers used as an exhibition space in the back, to the left.

 

Work from artist Maya Malioutina's studio. Guests are encouraged to touch her highly textured paintings!

Work from artist Maya Malioutina‘s studio. Guests are encouraged to touch her highly textured paintings!

Centrifugal Force #2

Untitled Painting at the Fabrika 7 exhibit

 

Inside Tom Fruin's Studio

Inside Tom Fruin‘s Studio

 

"Sucks Either Way" exhibit by Skewville at Mighty Tanaka Gallery

“Sucks Either Way” exhibit by Skewville at Mighty Tanaka Gallery

Visual Hierarchy on the left and Authoritative Representation on the left by Aditya Shringarpure in the "Clarity has Layers" exhibition at Giacobetti Paul Gallery

Visual Hierarchy and Authoritative Representation on the left by Aditya Shringarpure in the “Clarity has Layers” exhibition at Giacobetti Paul Gallery

Ninety-One Days by Kim Hoeckele, silver gelatin paper negative, recording the daily passing of the sun through the sky & collecting physical residue (dirt & water here) to mark the unseen weather.

Ninety-One Days by Kim Hoeckele, silver gelatin paper negative, recording the daily passing of the sun through the sky & collecting physical residue (dirt & water here) to mark the unseen weather.

 

Art Book in studio, made from mixed media and found materials by Marty Greenbaum

Art Book in studio, made from mixed media and found materials by Marty Greenbaum

The woods, the Sky and the Clouds by Ananda Day Cavalli, a layered photographic sculpture that can be viewed from both sides and multiple angles.

The woods, the Sky and the Clouds by Ananda Day Cavalli, a layered photographic sculpture that can be viewed from both sides and multiple angles.

Center Blue (1990) by Mary Obering, Untitled (1990) by Kathy Drasher and Field Theory (1984) by Nancy Haynes from the Julian Pretto Gallery survey exhibition presented at Minus Space

Center Blue (1990) by Mary Obering, Untitled (1990) by Kathy Drasher and Field Theory (1984) by Nancy Haynes from the Julian Pretto Gallery survey exhibition presented at Minus Space

And check out these two videos of installations at the festival from editor Nicole Casamento’s Instagram:

The Crossing by Ginger Andro & Chuck Glicksman mixed media installation with 3 ch. video projection, mirror, scent & sound; part of the “An Apartment with a View on Your Imagination” exhibit curated by Aleksandr Razin.

Big Four Oil (BP, Chevron, Exxon, Shell) by Genevive Hoffman, 2013, mixed media with projection; part of the “Financial Landscape Series” in the “Variable Dimensions” exhibit in the NYU/ITP room.

 

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Written by Nicole Casamento

Nicole Casamento is the founder of Culture Grinder.

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