“In Red Hook, gaze out onto a spectacular seascape from a cityscape with an industrial aesthetic, yet a small town feel. This is the only point on dry land where Lady Liberty will look back at you. Turn and enter a Civil War era warehouse – home of the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition.” This is where this summer’s exhibition: ‘scapes, took place from July 27 to August 18.
Landscapes, cityscapes, seascapes, dreamscapes, whatever - escapes from the imaginations of over 200 artists - more than 1000 pieces – were exhibited in BWAC’s unique and iconic 25,000 square foot gallery space.
The exhibit opened on Saturday, July 27th with an all-day Meet the Artists reception, an opportunity for visitors to meet and chat with the exhibiting artists. Throughout the day, the young New York based Wayne Tucker Quintet performed a variety of jazz standards as well as some of trumpet player Tucker’s original compositions.
BWAC’s newly rebuilt (post-Sandy) gallery and its exhibit of paintings, sculptures and installations created its own indoor ‘scape, the perfect complement to sultry summer afternoons. Sunday concerts started at 3PM (for the full performance calendar click here). The location in Red Hook, Brooklyn, with its harbor view, trendy boutiques, and restaurants galore, was ideal -- down the block from IKEA and across from the Fairway supermarket, newly reopened after Sandy, its new water taxi service bringing many visitors.
May 11-June16, 2013 Wide Open 4 and On the Waterfront
Hurricane Sandy may have set them back a few of months, but the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition’s Red Hook waterfront galleries opened May 11th, bigger and better than ever with two new shows – Wide Open 4 and On the Waterfront
Wide Open, usually held in March, was forced to delay its opening by the devastation the storm caused. The 25,000 square foot exhibition space on the pier in Red Hook was completely hammered - with water bursting in from both the bay and canal sides. Walls that had exhibited the work of five thousand artists over the past 20 years crumbled when NY harbor surged into the entire ground floor damaging or destroying everything up to about 5 feet high.
This was BWAC’s fourth annual national juried art show, once again with a world-class juror, Carrie Springer, senior curatorial assistant, Whitney Museum of American Art.
At the opening ceremony on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 3:00PM a $1000 award for Best in Show was selected and presented by Springer. Additional prizes were the People’s Choice Award of $500, the Curator’s Award of $250, and $100 “best” awards in each of eleven categories. Click here for the winners.
Opening concurrently with Wide Open 4 was On the Waterfront Zone A, BWAC’s 21st annual spring pier show. The waterfront took on new meaning in the wake of Superstorm Sandy (that’s when Zone A was added to the title). More than 200 artists exhibited works in every medium, from the traditional to the cutting edge. Special events were planned for every day of the show – including the Sunday acoustic performance series, UnPlugged in Red Hook, professional development classes, as well as Readings in Red Hook (May 19) - featuring local authors, on their Sandy experiences.
September 22 - October 21, 2012 Coming to Brooklyn
In 2012's fall show, "Coming to Brooklyn" over 200 artists expressed themselves on the theme through painting, sculpture, photography, installation and assemblage, and some wrote narratives showing what this experience of arrival meant to them.
The two Featured Artists of the show, Janet Rothholz (right) and Stephanie Schmidt (below), both Brooklyn based artists, offered strikingly different and equally stimulating approaches to their art and quest for self-expression, inviting the 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.
Special events were planned for every day of the show, and auction sales were brisk. The all-day Meet the Artists reception featured music by The Stefan Bauer Experience, with jazz vibraphonist Stefan Bauer and the French bassist Francois Moutin. Click here for the full calendar of events.
July 25 -August 19, 2012 Color
BWAC's summer show, Color, proved to be a stunning exhibition, and we are grateful to the installation team and everyone who applied.
The show Chairs were Fritz Weiss and Terry Urban. The juror for the ground floor gallery's national competition was Brooke Kamin Rapaport, who wrote in her statement:
"There is an assortment of abstract painting, some referencing color theory and much of it looking nostalgically to 1950s and 1960s modernist canvases. There are great swaths of color in these installations, sculpture, paintings and photographs."
Congratulations to the prize winners (thumbnails, right). Click here to visit the winners up close and here to revisit the show in its entirety.
The second floors' two galleries were filled with over 600 works from regional artists carried on the theme. All media, large and small,
were represented. The fund-raising auction was a success for collector and BWAC where many tasty bargains were snapped up.
View auction winners here.
Every day had something special taking place: live concerts on Opening Day and every Sunday, free classes in Adobe Illustrator and
drawing with live models on Saturday. A good time was had by all, and the new ceiling fans were appreciated.
May 13 - June 17, 2012 Celebrate 20
This year's celebration of summer began with Celebrate 20, marking twenty consecutive years of exhibitions in BWAC's magnificent venue, a 25,000 square foot Civil War era building, poised on the tip of Red Hook and overlooking New York Harbor.
The show was curated by Anna Annus Hagen, with the assistance of co-curator Terry Urban, and more than 200 artists exhibited 1000 works in every medium, from the traditional to the cutting edge. Go here for a calendar of the special events that took place every day of the show—including the Sunday acoustic performance series, UnPlugged in Red Hook; as well as free professional development classes in Photoshop and figurative drawing.
There was also a "Show within the Show" featuring a private collection of BWAC artists' work accumulated over the course of twenty years, and a Current and Past Curators' exhibition.
March 18 - April 1, 2012 Wide Open
BWAC's third annual national juried art show, Wide Open 3, opened on March 18, 2012 in Red Hook, with a total of 134 works selected by eminent juror Charlotta Kotik, Curator Emerita of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Anna Annus Hagen was curator.
BWAC's massive Civil War-era warehouse on the Red Hook waterfront in Brooklyn, NY welcomed its throng of visitors with open arms, and awards to artists were presented in fifteen categories (for more, go to "Featured Artists"), and Ekaterina Smirnova's massive watercolor "Arrival of a Train" (right), was awarded Best in Show. For a complete gallery of the works included in this stunning exhibition, click here.
Sept 17 - Oct 16, 2011 Tales of Breukelen
In our 2011 Fall Group Art Show, Tales of Breukelen, more than 300 artists exhibited more than 1,200 pieces in all media. The show included a special September 11 commemoration, scenes of Brooklyn by the Brooklyn Watercolor Society, and work from Featured Artists including photographer Richard Capuozzo, printmaker Richard Lubell, and wood sculptor Zane Treimanis.
Tales was a narrative show. Most artists included a written narrative as part of their presentation - a statement, a poem or book, one word or one page. Says Fritz Weiss, who, along with Bill and Linda Storoniak, was one of the show's co-chairs, "Once a Dutch colony, once a city, ever since a melting pot with waves of immigrants that still to this day are settling in Breukelen creating their own mini colonies and adding to the rich history, culture and flavors of this major city within a city. This show is the visual history, stories and tales of the people that made Breukelen one of the must places to live in and visit in the world." Click here for the performance calendar!
July 16 - August 21, 2011 Black and White Summer Art Show
The theme of this summer's show was Black and White.
We bathe in the beauty of color and spin thousands of words describing the experience that the cone cells transmit to our brain. In reality, they are not nearly as numerous as our rods, the cells that register light and dark, the black and white of our experience. Our rods are less articulated in language; fewer words are generated to describe that experience. Black and white is primal, the underneath, the foundation, of the opulence of color; black and white is where we register motion and, when the cones do not have sufficient light, our rods optimize our survival in the night woods.
In BWAC's 2011 summer show, we explored this underground of survival and few words.
[Black and White banner image courtesy of artist Julia Elsas - see her work at juliaelsas.com.]
May 7 - June 12, 2011 Convergence in Red Hook
Convergence in Red Hook, the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition's Spring Pier Art Show, exhibited 1000 pieces of new art in all media. The show's co-chairs, Anna Hagen and Therese Urban, created an exciting exhibition of new techniques, reinterpretations and innovative collaborations between diverse artists.
Opening day festivities included a Meet the Artists reception, with live music by Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band.
A series of live acoustic musical performances of all genres, BWAC's popular "UnPlugged in Red Hook" sessions took place every Sunday at 3PM during the run of the show. Click here for the performance calendar!
March 12 - March 27, 2011 Wide Open 2
Wide Open is a juried show, receiving close to 1600 entries annually, of which only ten percent are accepted for exhibition. The works represent a diverse range of outstanding, contemporary artwork. The generous proportions of our gallery space enable the exhibition of wall pieces, sculptures and installations of a scale not often found in other shows. As well as work of monumental dimensions, there are many smaller works and an Affordable Art wall, where all pieces are priced at $1000 and under.
This year, the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition was again fortunate to be joined by a prestigious juror. Nat Trotman is Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, where he has worked on the exhibitions of David Smith, Richard Serra, Constantin Brancusi and Matthew Barney. He recently co-curated the exhibition Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance and curated the current exhibition, Found in Translation.
Said Trotman, "In reviewing the many entries for Wide Open 2, I was consistently impressed with the variety and quality of the works. I was struck in particular by a sort of fervent surrealism that repeatedly appeared across all the mediums submitted. Many works mixed obvious concerns about the war in Iraq, the state of the economy, and other contemporary issues with colorful, often humorous, otherworldly visions. These scenes, together with a rich selection of abstract work and strong installation pieces, should make for a powerful and compelling exhibition."
At the ceremony on March 12, 3PM, 11 prizes were awarded in various categories as well as the Juror's and Curators' Best in Show awards.
Sep 25 - Oct 31, 2010 Lineage
On September 25th, the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition opened its gates to LINEAGE, its 2010 Fall Group Art Show. Three hundred artists exhibited 1200 works in all media, including those of Featured Artist, Anujan Ezhikode.
LINEAGE is a narrative show. Says Paula Jeanine Bennett, who, along with Anna Hagen and Zane Treimanis, was one on the show's co-chairs, "It is an opportunity for artists to explore the source and metamorphosis of their creative journey and/or discipline; to honor their personal artistic inheritance and its change and its continuity." Most artists presented a written narrative alongside their artwork.
Opening day's Meet the Artist all day reception featured live music by Richard Bennett (piano and compositions) joined by Naren Budhakar (table), Arun Ramamurthy (carnatic violin) and Gaku Takanashi (bass) playing original explorations of ragas, blues forms and moods from New Delhi to New Orleans. Scheduled for each Sunday were UnPlugged in Red Hook acoustic performances including concerts by Red Orange Morning, Binary Marketing Show and Jigsaw Soul. Other special events include Lineage at the Brooklyn Museum with BMA docent, Fortunata Schiano, and a Nuyorican poetry reading. For all of the wonderful events we hosted during the show, see the Lineage performance calendar (PDF).
July 17 - Aug 2, 2010 Red Hooked
BWAC's 2010 Summer Show at the Pier is named for the triangle of Brooklyn that is its home. Red Hook, a historically working-class, waterfront neighborhood facing the Statue of Liberty and isolated from the rest of the borough by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, lagged for many years behind its rapidly-gentrifiying neighbors. In recent years Red Hook has emerged as a new locus of urban development. To be Red Hooked is to look at the always incomplete and contradictory nature of change - it is to embrace with open arms both what is gained and what is lost in any process of development.
In our show, artists were not required to present work on a particular topic, but many artists chose to address this theme - both concretely and metaphorically.