Art + Culture

DUMBO Arts Fest: 10 Must-Sees

DUMBO Arts Festival is here! Kicking off Friday, September 27, this three-day event transforms the neighborhood into a “cross-cultural moshpit” and “veritable playground” of performances, events and installations. From street art to ships, DAF wedges a full spectrum of creativity into every nook and cranny of DUMBO. The DUMBO Improvement District is a neighborhood partner for this event, and we’re pretty excited to have front row seats.

The schedule, as always, is packed. (See for yourself with this official Time Out New York 2013 DAF guide.) We’ve taken the liberty of combing through the event offerings and presenting our 10 DAF must-sees (with a slight bias towards art in DUMBO’s awesome public spaces):

1. DUMBO WALLS –Murals from eight local and international artists –CAM, DALeast, Eltono, Shepard Fairey, Faith47, MOMO, Stefan Sagmeister, and Yuko Shimizu — packed into a 4-block stretch of York Street under the BQE. Plus work by JMR, Skewville, gilf!, and Chris/Robots Will Kill transform a DOT paint shed along the John Street Path in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

2. Minus Space, Julian Pretto Gallery — Organized in collaboration with artist John Zinsser, the exhibition will examine the history and legacy of Julian Pretto’s fabled downtown New York City galleries active during the 1970s through the early 1990s. [111 Front Street, Suite 212 & 228]

3. Clifford Ross and Taikoza, Immersive Harmonium Video & Japanese Drums — immersive video will be projected inside the century-old archway below the Manhattan Bridge with live collaborative music performance by Taikoza, the renowned Japanese drum group. A site-specific work, the colorful, dramatic digital imagery contrasts with its setting and harmonizes with the music.  [Archway under the Manhattan Bridge, 30 minute performances Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm, 8:30pm and 9:30pm]

4. Fort Makers, Brooklyn Lawn Quilt — This interactive project starts with participants picking up one out of 30 painted, canvas picnic blankets from an abstractly painted tipi. Each blanket is a piece of a large-scale painting. The “renter” is free to choose which blanket to use and where to place it within the park. Fort Makers will document the process from start to finish and include aerial shots from the Manhattan Bridge. These photos will be added to “Forts We’ve Made,” a current Fort Makers body of work. [Brooklyn Bridge Park, Main Street Lawn]

5. Kyle Goen, Who’s Chelsea Manning? — Look up to see 1,600 transparent colored flags, in reference to the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue White House address, hanging above Water Street. The piece will appear, from afar, as a mammoth pixelated image of that famous face and cap, hanging across Water Street. The 26-by-70-foot installation aims to replace the simplistic view of the 25-year-old Manning, sentenced to 35 years in prison for exposing some of the US government’s most extraordinary war crimes. [Water Street between Main and Washington]

6. StoryCorp Mobile Booth — Explore StoryCorps’ iconic MobileBooth, an Airstream trailer with a recording studio that travels the country year-round collecting stories. [DUMBO Beach, end of Jay Street] Also! Check out POV’s Listening is an Act of Love: A StoryCorps Special [20 Jay Street, Suite 940; screenings Sunday at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm]

7. Open Studio: Tom Fruin — Tom Fruin has worked in DUMBO for over 15 years. His artwork often features found or reclaimed items. Recent projects have included the 50 foot dimensional signage for Wythe Hotel and DUMBO’s own stain-glass Watertower. [20 Jay Street, M13]

8. Andrey Bartenev, Bubbles of Hope Art Processional — A joyous choreographed procession through the streets of DUMBO led by Andrey Bartenev, a Russian performance artist, provocateur and the ultimate humanist bringing 120 costumes from his collections! [Sat 12pm – Pier 1 Ferry Landing]

9. Alicia Eggert and Mike Fleming, You Are (On) An Island  — A neon sign whose message is animated by the word “on” flashing on and off at regular intervals, transforming an obvious statement into a reflective and philosophical inquiry… You are an island. [Brooklyn Bridge Park, Main Street Lawn]

10. Katherine Daniels, The End — An installation made out of plastic ribbon woven into the chain link fencing at DUMBO Beach, our new pop-up plaza at the end of Jay Street in front of the East River. The colorful, abstract design plays with shapes and visual rhythms in this urban environment, creating a vibrant end to this pocket of the neighborhood. [DUMBO Beach, end of Jay Street]

NOTE: All exhibits are on view during festival hours (Fri 6–9pm, Sat noon–9pm, Sun noon–6pm) unless otherwise noted. Evening projection works are on view 8pm–midnight.