• Walking Williamsburg

    Date posted: October 8, 2008 Author: jolanta
    ARTWALKING: Bedford Ave was curated by Eyewash founder and director Larry Walczak and independent curator Donna Kessinger. This exhibition, considered the largest public art installation of its kind in the borough of Brooklyn, ran from April 27 through June 8 and featured 30 artist installations in storefronts on Bedford Avenue, running from North 3rd to North 9th Streets in the north side of the community of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The exhibition was sponsored by Eyewash (www.eyewashart.com), a migratory gallery celebrating its tenth anniversary creating exhibitions in Williamsburg and abroad. Image

    Larry Walczak

    Image
    David Kramer, Untitled (Destination…), 2008. Mixed media. Courtesy of the artist.


    ARTWALKING: Bedford Ave
    was curated by Eyewash founder and director Larry Walczak and independent curator Donna Kessinger. This exhibition, considered the largest public art installation of its kind in the borough of Brooklyn, ran from April 27 through June 8 and featured 30 artist installations in storefronts on Bedford Avenue, running from North 3rd to North 9th Streets in the north side of the community of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

    The exhibition was sponsored by Eyewash (www.eyewashart.com), a migratory gallery celebrating its tenth anniversary creating exhibitions in Williamsburg and abroad. Eyewash was one of several “Williamsburg second-wave” galleries such as Pierogi, Momenta, Roebling Hall, and Sideshow, that put the neighborhood on the international art world map. Unfortunately, since the late 90s Williamsburg has detoured into a gallery scene that features quantity over quality and consequently has lost the attention of the New York art world press.

    ARTWALKING: Bedford Ave was designed as a union of art and commerce in hopes of inspiring the spirit of a once-great art neighborhood that had featured many ad hoc-style exhibitions throughout the community. It was hoped that collaboration with many of the new merchants in the north side of Williamsburg could provide a showcase on the much traveled Bedford Avenue for several Brooklyn-based artists, many of whom had exhibited with Eyewash over the years. Another goal was to create a springtime warm-weather exhibition that could be viewed simply by walking up and down the avenue without actually having to enter any given space. This appealed to many in the community-at-large who rarely go to museums or galleries.
    There were several successful window installations that stood out, namely Peter Fox’s curtains of candy-like paint drips at Earwax, Linda Ganjian’s elegant miniature tower for Catbird, Catya Plate’s visual tour-de-force of dozens of minatures at Eyeco, David Kramer’s hilarious scene of Brooklyn going Hollywood in the windows of Trojanowski Liquors, Yuliya Lanina’s world of weird dolls at MiniMart, Diane Nerwen’s heartbreaking video loop of a changing neighborhood at Ugly Luggage, Tom Broadbent’s inflated sculptures of bagel-shaped flying saucers, complete with eerie lighting, at The Bagel Store, and Gandalf Gavan’s twisted neon light sculpture at Brooklyn Industries.

    Other notable window-storefront favorites were by artists Tamika Kawata, Jonas Mekas, Vikki Michalios, Asha Ganpat, Lisa Levy, Nora Ligorano & Marshall Reese, Ben Marxen, Shari Mendelson, and Rebecca Major.

    A conceptual connection to the respective store’s inventory was encouraged. However, some artists departed from that notion and responded to factors like space and lighting. The thirty window installations were viewed by hundreds of people given their terrific location on Bedford Ave. Even many of the 20- and 30-something yuppies who migrated to Williamsburg over the last decade took time away from staring at their Blackberries to take notice of the windows. The local press coverage was quite good and there was much encouragement to make ARTWALKING an annual event of the Williamsburg, Brooklyn neighborhood.

     

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