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BROOKLYN . . . . the name itself summons up an array of responses that can range from the prosaic to the whimsical: some in image, some in words; some in memories and associations of family and of history; or of architecture and neighborhoods, artists, galleries and restaurants; or of ethnicity, cobblestone streets and trolleys; of a time long past and a vibrant present; of sweeping waterfront views and of, course, bridges, harbors, skylines and baseball. Brooklyn means something to everybody.

Coming to Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition's annual fall exhibit, captures these sentiments and houses them in a near-perfect venue, a Civil War-era warehouse along Red Hook's cobblestone streets overlooking New York harbor. There is no better place to contemplate what Coming to Brooklyn means.

This year over 200 artists will express through painting, sculpture, photography, installation and assemblage what this experience of arrival has meant to them. In addition to a visual exploration, each artist is asked to write a narrative, a contemplation of process, emotion, or intent — a window into each artist's thoughts — of the meaning of this theme.

The two Featured Artists of the show,
Janet Rothholz (right) and Stephanie Schmidt (below, left), both Brooklyn based artists, offer strikingly different and equally stimulating approaches to their art and quest for self-expression. Viewed as a response to the theme of the exhibit, both women invitethe viewer to engage in a thoughtful and visually forceful journey though contrasts and similarities, memory and nostalgia, past and present —
all things which we find when we come to Brooklyn.

Coming to Brooklyn opens on Saturday September 22 with an opportunity to meet and talk to the participating artists. There will also be an all-day music performance on Saturday by the Stefan Bauer Experience featuring the French bassist, Francois Moutin. On Sunday, BWAC favorite, jazz trumpeter Wayne Tucker will be performing. Each weekend of the show will feature all kinds of special events, classes and the music of a variety of musicians. This is Brooklyn — it's never one thing and it's always surprising.

And a particular highlight of the show: for its 6th year, BWAC will be hosting the Red Hook Film Festival on October 13-14. It's a two-day showcase of shorts and features, Brooklyn-centric documentaries, fiction and experimental films from some of Brooklyn's (and the country's) finest filmmakers. Free films, free popcorn, free Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies — a combination that can't be beat!

This year BWAC has invited the Daily Painters of Pennsylvania to exhibit as part of the Coming to Brooklyn exhibit. If you'd like to learn more about Daily Painters and their efforts to feature and promote a wide range of artists visit their website and blog.

Coming To Brooklyn postcard

          Below, updated! Slideshow of the opening celebration of
          Coming To Brooklyn.
          (To replay, click the pause || button twice.)

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Also coming to Brooklyn are the students of the International High School at Prospect Heights and they have come to us from all over the world: an ethnic medley of Haiti, Sierra Leone, China, Uzbekistan, The Dominican Republic, Colombia and Tibet, to name a few. They speak French, Fulani, Arabic, Spanish, Polish, Urdu and over a dozen other languages. With art as their common language, their paintings and drawings reflect their talents, aspirations and their experiences as denizens of this great borough.

The BWAC gallery is a perfect destination for an autumn weekend. It is across from the Fairway supermarket and down the block from IKEA in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, with its trendy boutiques and restaurants and the city's best view of Lady Liberty. It is accessible by public transportation and biking is a breeze!

Banner featuring Coming to Brooklyn artists