Brooklyn Utopias: In TRANSITion
Artists' visions for public transit
Above image: detail from Martin McCormack, A Proposal for a Rail Link Connecting Midtown Manhattan, 2 Pulaski St, Brooklyn and Coney Island
UPDATE!!: Though we have met our funding goal early, we are hoping to exceed the goal--this would mean fewer out-of-pocket expenses for artists and curators, more to put towards marketing and production of all our events, and possibly an additional closing event in January. THANK YOU to everyone who backed the project so far!
Brooklyn Utopias: In TRANSITion brings together nearly 20 artists and arts groups responding to differing visions of ideal urban transportation systems, or proposing their own, through the case study of Brooklyn and New York City. Exhibiting artists are tackling issues like transit fare hikes, traffic congestion, the presence of “transportation deserts” in underserved neighborhoods, and the adaptation of transit to a city of rising sea levels. Some participating artists take inspiration from Brooklyn’s existing transportation landscape; while some ask the questions, through exaggeratedly Utopian and Dystopian transportation proposals, “Who gets to make decisions about the future of transit?” And “How can artists help?"
Projects in all media include illustrations of “utopian” routes and vehicles; textile banners referencing Brooklyn’s maritime transportation history; and an interactive wall mural allowing visitors to literally "block" traffic. A series of public programs, including a "Who Decides Who Rides?" discussion panel, will further engage visitors in dialogue about the exhibition theme.
THE DETAILS: WHO, WHEN, AND WHERE?
Exhibition dates: September 17, 2013-January 12, 2014
Exhibition Opening: Tuesday, September 17, 6:30-9pm
*VIP curator preview for Kickstarter backers of $10 and up: 6pm*
Special opening performance "Let's Take a Walk" by Marie Christine Katz, 6:30-7pm
Location: The Old Stone House & Washington Park, 5th avenue between 3rd and 4th street, Park Slope.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 11am-4pm; Friday, 3-6pm; or by appointment, (718) 768-3195 or email@example.com.
Project Director and Curator: Katherine Gressel
Artist Selection Committee: Katherine Gressel, Curator, Brooklyn Utopias; Noah Budnick, Deputy Director, Transportation Alternatives; Emily Colasacco, Urban Art Program Manager, New York City Department of Transportation; Kim Maier, Executive Director, Old Stone House.
Exhibiting Artists: Dara Alter, Bicycle Utopia with Nick Normal, Marco Antonio Castro, Center for Urban Pedagogy, Heejung Cho, Molly Dilworth, Rebecca Hackemann, Samuel Holleran, Martin McCormack, Simonetta Moro, Nancy Nowacek, Carlo Sampietro, Nicole Schulman, Maureen Shea, Petra Valentova, Jason Varone, Emily Weiskopf, Ezra Wube
Visit our project blog for a complete calendar of events, images of artists’ work and more info about the role of artists in shaping a "utopian" Brooklyn!
NEW PUBLIC ART PARTNERSHIP!
In 2013, for the first time Brooklyn Utopias and the Old Stone House are partnering with the NYC Department of Transportation’s Urban Art Program to present a temporary public art installation by artist Emily Weiskopf on the nearby traffic median on 4th Avenue between 3rd and 4th streets, in conjunction with the gallery exhibition, opening by October 12, 2013.
WHAT IS BROOKLYN UTOPIAS?
Brooklyn Utopias: In TRANSITion is part of the Brooklyn Utopias (BU) exhibit and event series, founded in 2009 by artist and curator Katherine Gressel, in which artists, youth, activists, architects, designers and urban theorists consider differing visions of an ideal city through the “concrete” example of Brooklyn. Previous BU exhibits in 2009, 2010, and 2012 have dealt with overdevelopment, community preservation, urban agriculture, and most recently, public park and public space design.
**A HUGE thank-you to everyone who contributed to our 2012 Brooklyn Utopias: Park Space, Play Space Kickstarter campaign! We hope you will now join our 2013 backer team to create an even more ambitious show this year!**
WHY AN EXHIBIT ABOUT PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION? WHY NOW?
This past year has seen the celebration and expansion of New York City’s transit infrastructure, with Grand Central Terminal’s Centennial events, the opening of the new Citi Bike share program, the continued growth of the East River ferry, and ongoing construction of new subway and express bus lines. 2012 also exposed the system’s weaknesses, after Hurricane Sandy brought nearly all mass transit to a halt. Issues of transit access, affordability and sustainability promise to factor prominently in the 2013 NYC mayoral race. Brooklyn Utopias: In TRANSITion provides a perfect opportunity to bring together diverse groups to reflect on all these topics, giving voice to local artists and communities.
WHAT DO WE NEED?
A generous Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC) regrant covers about 50% of production, transportation and installation costs of artists’ original projects for the exhibition at OSH & Washington Park. Please help us raise the remaining necessary funds so all Brooklyn Utopias artists can realize their most ambitious projects.
WHAT DO THE REWARDS LOOK LIKE?
Included with every reward $5 and up:
"Fast Tracked" Newspaper
Be a $5 "Round Trip Commuter" and get a copy of this 40-page, 11-1/2″ × 16-1/2" Fast Tracked newspaper by Center for Urban Pedagogy, analyzing the decision to extend the No. 7 subway line in NYC.
Included with every reward $10 and up: VIP reception tickets!
$25 Reward: Bicycle Utopia: Am I Invisible? postcards!
Be a $25 "Mail Delivery Cyclist" and get a set of 5 different postcards from the "Am I Invisible?" project by Bicycle Utopia, featuring portraits of New York City cyclists. Note: images may be different from the ones pictured above.
$30 Reward: Bicycle Utopia Poster!
Be a $30 "Bike Share Poster Child" and receive an an original 18" X 24" pigment print poster by In TRANSITion artist Jeanne Hilary/Bicycle Utopia. This poster also available in green, pink, or cream.
$40 Reward: Nicole Schulman Poster!
Become a $40 "Subway Poster Child" and receive an 18" X 24" digitally printed poster by In TRANSITion artist Nicole Schulman.
$50 Reward: Exhibition Catalogue!
Become a $50 Literate Commuter and receive a full-color exhibition catalog featuring photos of the artwork in the show along with quotes and essays from the artists, curator, and project partners relating to transportation issues. Note: above image does not reflect the actual book design or text!
NEW $100 Reward: Rebecca Hackemann Limited Edition Print!
Become a $100 "Tired of Tolls Patron" and receive this limited edition archival ink jet print by exhibiting artist Rebecca Hackemann (normally a $500 value!)
$100 Reward: Molly Dilworth Painting!
Be a $100 "Subway Art Patron" and receive one of these three original 5 1/4" x 7 1/2"pour paintings by In TRANSITion artist Molly Dilworth.
$175 Reward: Dara Alter Painting!
Be a $175 "Subway Art Patron" and receive this original 9" x 11" painting by In TRANSITion artist Dara Alter.
$250 Reward: Katherine Gressel Commissioned Painting
Be a $250 "Subway Art Patron" and receive a customized 12" X 16" acrylic painting based on a photo(s) of your choice by Brooklyn Utopias curator Katherine Gressel (of the award-winning Event Painting by Katherine)--normally a $500 value, and a great holiday gift! See more examples here.
$500 Reward: Carlo Sampietro taxi cab lamp!
Be a $500 "Taxi and Limousine Patron" and receive an original NYC Taxi sign from the 1980’s turned into a functional lamp, by artist Carlo Sampietro (a $950 value!).
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT PAST BROOKLYN UTOPIAS EXHIBITIONS
BU's work has been recognized by Time Out New York, Hyperallergic, the L Magazine, The Brooklyn Paper, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and Brooklyn Independent TV.
"After spending time in the tranquility of Brooklyn Utopias: Park Space, Play Space  in the Old Stone House…it was possible to imagine...that artists are an essential voice in imagining an exuberant, yet intelligently developed, future for the borough." - Allison Meier, Hyperallergic, 2012
“It allowed me to come back to what I love: imagining the future. It’s important to remember why we are doing our day-to-day activities: in response to some utopian vision.” - Stacey Murphy, Founder, BK Farmyards, guest presenter, “Do it Yourself Utopias” public program at the Old Stone House, 2009
“I think the show was a great opportunity to introduce the local community to artistic projects that bring attention to various aspects of Brooklyn life that otherwise would be overlooked.” - Marina Zamalin, artist, 2012
FUNDERS, PARTNERS, AND CREDITS
Brooklyn Utopias: In TRANSITion is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council, Inc. (BAC).
This video features the songs "Transportation" by Mike Tholfsen, and “Travel Light” by Jason Shaw, respectively, both available under a Creative Commons license.
Videography by Tyler Henry. Editing by Katherine Gressel. Animated video clips from "At the Same Moment" by Ezra Wube.
Risks and challenges
I have a track record of 3 years of completing similar Brooklyn Utopias exhibitions at the Old Stone House venue on time and on budget, while attracting large and diverse audiences and positive press coverage, and positive feedback from participating artists and programming partners (see "what people are saying" above). I am very familiar with the unique challenges of this non-traditional space, such as having to allow extra time for installation since we can't put any holes in the walls. With site-specific art exhibits involving commissioned work, there is always the risk of artwork not being finished on time or according to plan. In the past I have dealt with this issue by planning alternate layouts for the show, i.e. if an artwork is late or missing, and maintaining constant communication with the artists and other collaborators to make sure progress reports are received and deadlines are met.
After funding is received and the show is up, ongoing challenges can include maintenance of the work, especially the outdoor work—we have ensured that the artists are available to make repairs throughout the duration of the show for this reason—and continuing to attract large audiences to all our different events. To make our events this year as well-attended as possible, we are placing them at strategic times to correspond with other neighborhood events (such as Open House New York weekend), and working with different partners on each event who can help with cross-promotion.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (27 days)