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The Sketchbook Project 2011

Anyone else love to sketch as much as I do? Now you can showcase your work in a gallery.  The Art House Co-Op presents, The Sketchbook Project 2011. According to the site:

Thousands of sketchbooks will be exhibited at galleries and museums as they make their way on tour across the country.  After the tour, all sketchbooks will enter into the permanent collection of The Brooklyn Art Library, where they will be barcoded and available for the public to view.  Anyone - from anywhere in the world - can be a part of the project. To participate and have us send you a sketchbook that will go on tour, start by choosing a theme to the right.

The cost to participate is $25 but you choose a theme from the list.  Some of my favorites are: "This is not a Sketchbook", "I am a scavenger" and "Things found on a restaurant napkin".  You can also pay an additional charge to have your sketchbook digitized or create an 11x17 poster.  Check out the Art House Co-Op website for more details by clicking here.

IMAGE from Crew Design

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Summer Fun at P.S.1

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The P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, located in Long Island City, Queens hosts an annual competition for emerging architects to design a temporary installation in the courtyard.  Programmatic requirements included providing areas for shade, use of water, and seating.  MOS architects won this year for their entry, an urban shelter titled afterparty.  I dragged my friend along to check out the installation and the P.S.1 galleries.  While I must admit, I was not thrilled with the MOS entry, which my friend appropriately described as “furry mountains”.  Sorry MOS.  The plan was for the hut-like chimneys to create a cool breeze involving induction.  I don’t recall feeling a breeze, only mist which just made me want to quickly leave the sheltered areas.  While the exhibition didn’t take my breath away, the building, exhibits, and courtyard party definitely did.

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Having never been to P.S.1 before I couldn’t wait to check out the space.   P.S.1 or Public School No. 1 was originally built in 1893 and thrived as a school for decades before falling into disrepair in the 1960s.  The Institute for Art and Urban Resources Inc re-opened the building as an exhibition space in 1976.  P.S.1 has undergone several renovations since its inception, the most major was in 1997.  Despite the transformation of the interior spaces, the essence of the school it once was still remains.  One of the most striking exhibits was Leandro Erlich’s Swimming Pool .  Initially, one is lead to think that this is just an ordinary indoor pool.  However when you look down, you can see other gallery visitors fully dressed in the pool.  What I love is the simplicity of this illusion.  The pool is empty with perhaps 2″ of water suspended at the top with a thin piece of acrylic.  And from inside the pool, the experience is just as unsettling.  The Leandro exhibit will be up through October 2009.

DSC02729My friend and I spent quite some time meandering through the many galleries including ones in former classrooms.  We unintentionally showed up at P.S.1 for Warm Up, their summer music series held on Saturdays.   I loved that each time we emerged from an exhibit into the common areas, the silence was interrupted by the muffled pulsing beats of  the DJ playing in the courtyard.  Every space at P.S.1 was filled with some kind of activity.  And there was something so wonderfully summer about people drinking beers, dancing, and enjoying the tunes.  So stop in at P.S.1 while the summer lasts, the exhibition is up through September 14.  For more information go to the P.S.1 website.

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Gas Station Gallery

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This designer loves to see unused spaces revitalized, especially when showcasing emerging artists is the objective.  The Fourth Wall Project creates “pop up galleries” in unutilized commercial spaces.  I went to their most recent event on Friday, August 7th, the 2009 summer show for Paint Pens in Purses, an all-female urban art collective.  The exhibition was held at a gas station recently transformed into a gallery at 1301 Boylston St in Boston’s Fenway.  The structure is unassuming and usually appears vacant concealing the transformation within.  Friday,  the space was activated by interior lighting, the thump of house music, and the animated crowd.

DSC02647The iterior was primarily painted white which accentuated the garage doors.  The work of nine artists mounted on leaning white panels popped, contributing moments of vibrant color in the space.

Over the course of the night, I could not help feeling sad about how temporary it was.  Is there a way that the gas station gallery could be more permanently retained to exhibit work for at least a couple of weeks to a month?  Nonetheless, the event was great especially with the free cocktails which I somehow managed to miss, being forced to have a Pabst instead.   Be sure to check out the Fourth Wall Project for more information on upcoming exhibits.