We are excited to welcome back artist, author and local legend Rev. Jen Miller. We last joined her for a behind-the-scenes look at her extensive collection of Troll Dolls, once the main feature of the now-shuttered Lower East Side Troll Museum. Jen will return for a discussion of her most recent project, a series of Coney Island cat paintings. Her new work evokes images of a bygone New York, as seen through the eyes of the city’s often most overlooked residents. She will show some of her pieces, discuss her process, and enlighten us all on the secret life of cats in one of Brooklyn’s most iconic neighborhoods.>> Continue reading
Sarah Olson is a Brooklyn-based painter, performance artist, and mother. Grounded by her love and respect for place and human experience, Sarah’s insightful work hits you with the clarity and personal resonance of dreams; color, lines, and partially familiar images blend together creating a sense that the world is more beautiful than you might know, and that you belong in it. This program will look at Sarah’s New York-focused work, her “live painting” performances, and most recent installation, “RISE ALL BOATS: A World Water Map,” in which she collaborates with James Baldwin scholar Khadija Kamara to chart ancestral, deliberate and involuntary human migration through performative drawing. Sarah will also guide us through a fun drawing lesson, teaching us to draw the earth as seen from space! Suitable for kids, parents and all curious adults.
Brooklyn Navy Yard-based artist Paul Campbell started to experiment with painting with his children’s toys in 1998 and has since explored the tension and balance between chaos and control. His abstract paintings that start with unpredictable patterns on the canvas created by the movements of toys, including remote control cars, tiny motorcycles, and koosh balls. Paul will share his work from his recent exhibitions in Wuhan, China and Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island, and share techniques for how people can draw inspiration from his creative process and use toys and other household objects to create their own paintings at home.
In this virtual program, Turnstile Tours founder Cindy VandenBosch examines how children’s books, novels, paintings, and postcards have depicted New York City’s street vendors, and the foods and merchandise they sell over time. From hot corn and baked pears to knishes and sweet potatoes, she will dive into vendor stories depicted in works including the 1808 book “Cries of New York,” documentation from the Works Progress Administration, and images by William Chappel (pictured), Lou Barlow, and Raymond Ewer, among others.
St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church in Millvale, PA, just outside Pittsburgh, is home to one of the most remarkable works of church art in America, a series of 25 murals painted by celebrated Croatian painter Maxo Vanka. Painted in 1937 and 1941, the murals depict stories of immigration, war, labor, and injustice in vivid, expressive scenes unlike any others in a church. We will be joined by Anna Doering, managing director of the Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka, a non-profit which works to conserve, protect, and interpret these incredible artworks and offers guided tours and educational programs.
Inside the Brooklyn Historical Society’s DUMBO exhibition space are two iconic images of the borough: Francis Guy’s 1820 painting of the small hamlet, and Currier & Ives’ 1879 lithograph of the City of Brooklyn. Led by two of our expert guides, Andrew Gustafson and Stefan Dreisbach-Williams, they will unpack the history of the people and places in these dense images and what they tell us about Brooklyn’s waterfront communities in the nineteenth century.
On our Brooklyn Navy Yard Photography Tours, we’re always encouraging people to look for the unexpected. Even on streets we’ve walked down a thousand times, there may be something new, or something very old you never noticed before.
Walking down the halls of the enormous Building 3, constructed in 1917 and one of the Yard’s largest buildings, I recently found something very unexpected. I walked into Triple J Bedding, a distributor of linens to hotels and hospitals across the country; stacks of sheets, blankets, and towels were stacked floor to ceiling with just narrow passages between them. After wending my way through this cavern, I found a little oasis at the back – the studio of artist Jeff Britton.>> Continue reading