Artwork builds community ties
by Andrew Pavia
Oct 02, 2013 | 2373 views | 0 0 comments | 189 189 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DUMBO Art Festival 2013
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Children made their own masterpieces while adults viewed oversized multi-colored macarons and a large inflatable heart, as well as the “Ship of Tolerance,” a work that features a sail constructed with the artwork of children floating in the East River.

The 17th Annual DUMBO Art Festival brought residents and tourists out for three days of art appreciation. The event attracts over 200,000 visitors with the participation of over 400 artists.

Poets also took to street corners, dancers performed and clowns made balloon animals for children.

“The festival offers an extraordinary opportunity to experience and discover art outside the standard gallery and museum setting,” said festival director Lisa Kim.

“It’s fantastic,” said DUMBO resident John Sampieri, who says he attends the festival every year. “DUMBO overall is an incredibly creative neighborhood. I think the residents are very involved with the neighborhood and it is nice to see visitors here also.”

The festival is more than just a place for art lovers. For Project Art, an organization that provides free art classes to underprivileged youths in Harlem, it is an event to get to know new clients. The group is moving to Brooklyn and wanted to make their presence known by being apart of the festival.

“This is our launchpad,” said Ginger Boyd. “We’ve had an overwhelming amount of people coming over to our booth. We’ve had to add an extra table and chairs to fit everyone.”

The organization views the use of art as essential to the healthy development of children. “People don’t understand that art is a fundamental part of education,” she said.

Brooklyn artist Daisuke Kiyomiya displayed his work, “Half a Dozen Macarons” is an interactive sculpture made of foam. The work displays multi-colored and enlarged cookies stacked on top of each other.

“I like the DUMBO art festival for all the family and kids that attend,” said Kiyomiya. “And then I wanted to make a sculpture that people want to touch.”

He said there was no deep hidden meaning in the cookie sculpture, and wanted to show that art doesn’t have to be so serious. As children pretended to eat the over-sized macarons, Kiyomiya said that the DUMBO Art Festival was the right place to display the work.

“I always think that sculpture should be more fun,” he said. “We’re not in the 18th century anymore.”

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