I want to say one word to you. Just one word.... Plastics.”
Mr. McGuire, The Graduate

Friday, July 29, 2011

Events this weekend

On Governors Island this weekend:

Saturday, July 30
Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon 10 AM – 2 PM
Picnic Point
Join the Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon for an activities expo, live music, vendors and skateboard demos at Picnic Point.

More information at: www.adrenalinaskateboardmarathon.com

Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31
First Annual New York Poetry Festival, 12 PM – 5 PM
Colonels Row
Come out for this free poetry festival for readings and performances by the Poetry Brothel, the Poetry Project, Ear Shot, 2nd Avenue Poetry and much more.

More information at: tpsny.org

And of course, I am back at Knit for Trees until the end of August.
Hope to see you there!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekend in Pittsburgh

I went to Pittsburgh over the weekend for the opening of my solo show 24 Hours in the Subway at Box Heart Gallery (www.boxheart.org/nn/wrkshps.html). It was a refreshing 92 degrees there... The opening was fantastic (I sold 5 drawings) and Nicole, the gallery owner, did an amazing job hanging the show and organizing the reception. Thank you to all who came by and gave me great feedback and complimented the work. Check it out if you are in the area!

Box Heart Gallery is in a great neighborhood that reminds me a little bit of what Williamsburg in Brooklyn used to be: an old Italian neighborhood that has great galleries, artists, and (thankfully) no hipsters. Pittsburgh is becoming one of my favorite destinations: I love all the steel bridges, the hilly neighborhood and the friendly people (I heard honking only once in 2 days!). It's also affordable and very artist friendly.

I, of course, could not resist doing a knitting workshop on Sunday while I was there. Some of the guests who were going to attend the opening wanted to donate plastic bags, so one thing led to another and we had a lesson in how to knit with plastic at the gallery. I brought cookies from my favorite bakery in Bay Ridge, and folks brought more pastries for the knitters. A diet weekend, it was not! I also discovered hot cakes on Sunday morning at Pamela's diner on Forbes Ave: a mix of crepe and pancakes, usually served with fruit and cream. I took mine plain, accompanied by eggs, sausage and potatoes. Very reasonable!

I had time after the workshop to go to the Frick Museum in Pittsburgh that had a really nice PAN print exhibit. Best of all, it was free. Just wanted to make sure you knew I'm still thrifty.

In all, I left Brooklyn with a suitcase full of knitting needles and a couple of t-shirts, and came back with a suitcase full of knitting needles, dirty t-shirts and a ton of plastic bags. The local supermarket has blue bags, so I am completely thrilled. Below are some of the photos from the show and the workshop. I will be back on Governors Island this weekend July 30th. I can't wait to show my trees to our friends John and Theresa who will be visiting then.

24 Hours in the Subway at Box Heart

The Sunday workshop

Nicole happily cutting bags!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Yes, I get cranky... but you knew that already!

For those you know me in person, you know that I can be moody, stubborn, and a little too intense with my emotions in general. I have been working on this project for about 5 months now, and I have to admit that I got cranky over the weekend. The installation has been amazing. Unlike a gallery show, I get immediate feedback from visitors. I get to over-hear people's conversations, who don't realize that I am there. I see firsthand the visitors' reactions to the work, and it's been a complete boost to my self-confidence as an artist.

I have had people bring me coffee and cookies because they enjoyed the work so much, they wanted to thank me in some ways; I have had people offer me money because they wanted to support me and future projects; I have had people fix loose threads completely on their own; I have had people come back multiple times because they had just a good time knitting and participating in the work; I have had mothers who had to smooth-talk their child into leaving because their kid didn't want to go; I have had people whisper to me that it was the best show they saw on Governors Island.

So why do I let a few negative comments make me cranky? I truly don't know. The negative comments are not even negative per se: they might be comments from folks who are not familiar with artists and their process ("you must have a lot of free time on your hands") or who do not realize the time, love and energy that must go into a project of that scale ("so is this a hobby?"). I might get one or two such comments every weekend among many many positive comments... yet here it was: I got cranky on Saturday.

My friend Yupin came on Sunday, and we talked about this issue: letting one or two negative comments out of many positive comments, ruin one's mood. She said: "let it go". And I will try, truly, I will try...

I am off to Pittsburgh next weekend for my solo show at Box Heart Gallery: 24 Hours in the Subway (www.boxheart.org/nn/upcom.html). I will be back on Governors Island the last weekend of July. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

On the schedule this weekend

Governors Island is hosting The City of Water Day Festival  from 10am-4pm:
  • Fun and FREE boat tours for thousands on historic and educational vessels
  • A spectacular flotilla of hundreds of kayakers, canoers, and sailors
  • Free kayaking, rowing, and fishing opportunities
  • Dozens of arts, crafts, games, and activities just for kids
  • Catch a FREE ferry between Governors Island & Liberty State Park to enjoy all the activities
  • The Waterfront Activity Fair
  • Car-free waterfront biking
  • Special on-water Launch & Press Event
  • Delicious food, live music, and much more!!!
All the info at www.cityofwaterday.org/

Hope to see you there! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

A friendly weekend

Summer is heating up in NYC, and the temperatures are climbing into the 90's. Fortunately Knit for Trees is in a shaded area of Governors Island, and we had a very nice breeze most of the weekend.

I had two unexpected visits from old friends. Margarita, a classmate from the NY Academy of art, whom I hadn't seen in years came by with her husband Steve and her student Arthur. Margarita knitted her "special" stitch, which she described as the adolescent stitch: full of bumps in the road!

Ingrid and her husband Cory came with their two children, Tristan and Sera. Ingrid and I are friends from our video-gaming days in Boston. We mostly knitted and caught up with each others' lives, which was quite lovely!

My intern Heather came back from California, where she visited her family and got some well deserved rest. We spent a really nice Sunday afternoon together... I even taught her how to crochet! A few families came by for a second time around to knit, and a lot of folks came by to drop off their plastic bags: we must be doing something right!

And of course, if you already are friends with me on Facebook, you already know the best comment/question of the weekend:

Is this your husband's idea or yours?

Friday, July 8, 2011

A fifth tree is covered

Last Saturday was very sedate, with folks taking their time, and relaxing. Sunday's weather was so bad, that absolutely no one came to Governors Island... and I decided not to set up. I took the opportunity to look at the other exhibits on the island that I hadn't had a chance to see. The New York Electronic Art Festival is definitely worth seeing, especially the exhibit in Fort Jay (click here for more details).

I took a couple of days this week to install a fifth tree, and to add panels to the largest tree. That tree has a cockroach living in it, that usually gets very agitated when I attach new panels. Mr. Roachie came by Thursday, slowly looked around, gave a wink and a nod, and left. I think he approves of the work done so far. The other tree has an anthill, and the ants were not amused. They spent the day going up and down very rapidly, and climbed up my arms any chance they got to express their displeasure. What can I say? Not everyone appreciates art!

The forecast for the weekend looks pretty good, and I will be back in full force on Saturday. For the gourmands out there, Governors Island is hosting Cook Out NYC on Sunday, starting at noon. Tickets are a little pricey, and you can purchase them in advance at http://cookoutnyc.com/

Hope to see you this weekend!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Fourth of July

Monday July 4th is my parents' anniversary. In their honor, the city of New York will have fireworks, as well as many cities across the U.S. Thank you!

There are no special events on Governors Island this weekend, but you can see all the summer long exhibits:
  • Figment's Minigolf Course
  • Figment's Sculpture Garden (where of course, you will find Knit for Trees!)
  • Mark di Suvero sculpture exhibit
  • TheSculptors Guild's exhibit
  • Children's Museum of the Arts Free Art Island Outpost
  • Big Apple Circus Family Fun Fest (Trapeze school)
  • Bodies, Borders and Crossings presented by the Finnish Cultural Institute of New York
... and many more!

Happy Fourth of July everyone!