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Dumbo artist Tom Fruin has installed another sparkling, stained glass sculpture in the shape of a water tower at 334 Furman Street in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The multicolored structure will be lit up at night and powered by a solar array on the roof of the building, which serves as the offices for Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation. The artist said the water tower should be illuminated by next weekend and will stay up for a year.

Fruin installed his first water tower on the roof of Dumbo’s 20 Jay Street two years ago, and it has quickly become an iconic part of the neighborhood’s skyline. Earlier this fall, the sculptor built a stained glass house on the waterfront in Brooklyn Bridge Park as part of Dumbo Arts Festival. The house was originally supposed to remain through March, but the artist told us the park is now letting it stay through September. Click through to see an interior shot of the water tower.

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Brooklyn Heights Cinema owner Kenn Lowy is still looking for a new space for the theater since the building at 70 Henry Street was sold and it shut down in August, he told Brooklyn Brief. “I need a big location, with good foot traffic, but with a landlord who isn’t only seeing dollar signs, but has an interest in providing the community with a venue for culture. I’m doing everything I can to keep going.”

Lowy bought the theater for sentimental reasons: He grew up watching films there. In the wide-ranging interview, he also said the influential Brooklyn Heights Association had played a large role in the theater’s closing, by opposing proposals to redevelop the property:

The sad thing is that these two plans for buildings were really nice, contextual with the neighborhood, and would have allowed a cinema to stay at the location. But the Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA) had a lot to do with the plans never being voted upon, which was akin to them being turned down. They felt the building had historical significance, and they fought tooth and nail against any changes. The local Community Board supported us, and some of the local politicians supported us, but others didn’t, not wanting to go against the BHA. The BHA represents a very small contingent of Brooklyn Heights residents, but has a very strong sway.

The interview, which also ran in the Brooklyn Eagle, is definitely worth a read.

Anyone know a suitable venue?

In Conversation: Kenn Lowy on the Brooklyn Heights Cinema, and Future Plans [BK Brief]
Brooklyn Heights Cinema Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photo by Brooklyn Heights Cinema/Facebook

like sunday, like rain

The Williamsburg Independent Film Festival is screening five days of indie flicks at the Wythe Hotel this weekend, starting Thursday. Each night of screenings begins at 6:30 pm and features 10 to 12 short films created by emerging filmmakers based in Brooklyn and around the world.

The first night will include the premiere of the feature-length movie “Like Sunday, Like Rain,” pictured above, starring Deborah Messing and Billy Joe Armstrong. Tickets are $15 for each hour-and-a-half long block of films. You can buy tickets and see the full schedule at Brown Paper Tickets.

Image via Williamsburg Independent Film Fest 

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Two Trees commissioned three new works of public art in Dumbo, one of which is Tom Fruin’s multicolored stained glass house, as well as a new mural at the Domino Sugar development site, according to the developer’s PR reps. Fruin assembled his brightly colored “Kolonihavehus” near Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park to coincide with the Dumbo Arts Fest last month, and it will remain on display until the spring. Two other pieces installed at the same time will remain through next year too: Joan Pamboukes’ landscape of images from Grand Theft Auto, titled “Where the River Meets the Sky,” and Erin Hudak’s “SEE THRU,” underneath the Manhattan Bridge. Click through to see the other three.

Photos via Two Trees

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As part of its “Crossing Brooklyn” exhibition, the Brooklyn Museum is holding a slew of film screenings, musical performances and author talks tomorrow from artists based in the borough. The schedule for tomorrow’s Target First Saturday includes a hip-hop-inspired brass band, a screening of Union Docs’ “Living Los Sures” film about the South Williamsburg neighborhood, and a talk from Brooklyn-based author Bridgette M. Davis. They’ll have interesting events all evening long from 5 to 11 pm. Check out the schedule as well as the two pieces of performance art (pictured above) planned for Saturday evening.

Photo by Xiaotian Yang via Brooklyn Museum

408 Rogers Ave

On Friday night The Inkwell Cafe at 508 Rogers Avenue will host the local jazz band Prospect Quartet. Your $5 donation will go to both the musicians and to fund PLG Arts, which promotes and supports the arts in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. Frequent Brownstoner commenter Bob Marvin is on the board. The show is from 7 to 9 pm on Friday, October 24.

Photo by Inkwell Cafe

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This weekend is the 18th annual Gowanus Open Studios, when neighborhood artists open their doors to allow the public to visit their studios, learn about their art and the creative process and to buy artworks. This year 315 artists and arts organizations are participating, including a huge range of types of artists: painters, sculptors, performers, printmakers, photographers, installation artists and many more.

Those planning to attend can check out a list of participating artists here and can find a map of studio locations here. In addition to visiting studios, those attending can sign up for curated tours which will take place on Saturday, October 18 and Sunday, October 19. There will also be a panel discussion on how to build an art collection on Saturday and a walking tour of murals on both days. For more information about the event, visit the Arts Gowanus Open Studio page.

Photo by Arts Gowanus

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Brooklyn Museum has just opened its “Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed Stuy, and Beyond” exhibit, which highlights 35 local artists through three months of exhibitions, performances and activities. The exhibit, which opened Friday, features work in virtually every medium, including video, sculpture, painting, drawing, installation and performance.

The museum will host a working farm, a greenmarket from local farmers, a life-size equestrian sculpture made of cork onto which visitors can pin notes, a panorama composed of 365 consecutive views of the sky, and a photography series documenting the forced and voluntary migrations of an African American family. This month there will also be a historical walking tour of Flatbush Avenue, a bicycle-powered generator, and an outing on Newtown Creek with the North Brooklyn Boat Club.

Check out the museum’s calendar page for the full schedule, and read the press release to see the full list of artists.

Photo by Bedford+Bowery

dumbo arts fest

The Dumbo Arts Festival transforms the normally sleepy streets near the waterfront into a celebration of art and performance this weekend. The free event is expected to draw over 200,000 people to Dumbo, where they’ll find installations tucked into every corner and more than 100 open artist studios. Highlights include Dumbo’s industrial history explained through stencils on the railroad tracks, a hydroponic tomato plant sculpture paying tribute to Dr. Seuss’s Trufula Tree, and a traveling dance party with music played from a street vendor cart. It starts Friday evening from 6 to 9 pm and runs through Sunday at 6 pm. Head over to Dumbo Arts Festival for more details or download the full festival guide for the schedule of events and a map.

Photo via Dumbo Arts Festival

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With live bands and art set in a field with a beautiful garden next to great architecture AND historic houses open for tours, the opening party for “Funk, God, Jazz, and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn” at the Weeksville Heritage Center Saturday was pretty much the most exciting couple of hours we have experienced in Brooklyn. Enjoy the photos and try to catch some of the exhibits, which will be running at several sites around Bed Stuy and Crown Heights for a month.  (more…)

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Welcome to the Hot Seat, where we interview people involved in real estate, architecture, development and design. Introducing Christopher Allen, Founder and Artistic Director of UnionDocs, a nonprofit center for documentary film based in Williamsburg. We talked with Allen about UnionDocs’ ongoing collaborative project Living Los Sures, which chronicles the culture, history and stories of Williamsburg’s Southside. You can check out a video installation with some of the project’s short films at the Ildiko Butler Gallery at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus. They’ll also screen some of their short films on September 19 at 7 pm, during the Southside Connex street festival in Havermeyer Park.

Brownstoner: What neighborhood do you live in, and how did you end up there?

Christopher Allen: We live in Clinton Hill. We moved there last year after living in Williamsburg since 2002. We found a place that we liked, and rent was going up in our building and it didn’t feel like it was a good deal anymore.

BS: Can you talk about the beginnings of “Living Los Sures”?

CA: We’ve been involved in a restoration project with the New York Public Library to restore and rerelease a film from 1984 called Los Sures by Diego Echeverria. That film we’ve been working with for four years — it’s inspired about 30 documentary projects made by people in our studio. Over 50 people have been involved in creating short documentaries about the neighborhood today over the last four years. We’re also doing a participatory platform where we’ve split the film from 1984 into different shots and we’re splicing in longtime residents of the neighborhood talking about places in the film.

So the project is three parts: the participatory website, called Los Sures Shot by Shot. There are 30 short documentaries, produced by our collaborative fellows. One of the characters from the original documentary, we’re updating her story as she sells her apartment and leaves the neighborhood. It’s an interactive documentary called 89 steps. She’s considering leaving the city and moving out — and the film follows her as she goes through that process, and we learn a little bit of history about the building she’s lived in for 40 years.

That’ll be launched at the New York Film Festival September 27.

After the jump, Christopher talks about gentrification on the Southside, Sternberg Park and how rezoning has shaped the neighborhood.

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