The City’s Largest Public Art Gallery, Arts Gowanus’ Annual ArtWalk, Returns to Atlantic Avenue • Brooklyn Paper
He is back!
Atlantic Avenue will be abuzz with art and culture for most of the month as Arts Gowanus marks the return of its annual ArtWalk – a multi-block outdoor exhibition showcasing the work of more than 100 local artists from of this weekend.
“ArtWalk serves the community in three primary ways,” Arts Gowanus executive director Johnny Thorton told the Brooklyn Paper. “It provides a platform for artists in Brooklyn to reach a large and diverse audience, it boosts the local economy and brings new business to the wonderful merchants of Atlantic Avenue, and it gives locals the opportunity to connect with artists, small businesses and each other. It’s a fun and meaningful way to spend a weekend!”
Continuing ArtWalk’s theme of bringing hope and renewal to the local community amid the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s ArtWalk will celebrate and honor seasonal events and holidays currently taking place. Paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures and large installations will pay homage to Father’s Day, June 19 and Pride Month.
ArtWalk is free and open to the public, and is funded by nearby nonprofits like Arts Gowanus, the Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District, and the Atlantic Avenue Local Development Corporation.
The 1.5-mile self-guided ArtWalk kicked off Friday and will run June 18-26 along the Atlantic from Fourth Avenue to the Waterfront. The showcase will span Brooklyn neighborhoods from Boerum Hill , Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill – and, because it is an outdoor gallery on the street, ArtWalk will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The exhibits featured include:
“My Dad and Me” at Adam Yauch Park (27 State St.), which features photos of people with their father figures.
“Stoop Stories” at Hoyt Street Garden (98 Hoyt St.), which features a documentary that shines a light on New York’s neighbors and the power of storytelling.
“The Lost Sheep” at the ExLax Building (423 Atlantic Ave.), which features a mural inspired by the parable of the same name as a way to communicate encouragement and hope to the community.
Day-long events also take place throughout the ArtWalk, such as an exploration of rhythm dance history on June 19 to celebrate Juneteenth. The performance will feature “Jazzamazon,” rhythm dance dancer Tamangoh, with Lafayette Harris on piano, Hernan Jay Rodriquez on sax and Jennifer Vincent on bass. Photographs of tap and jazz greats will also be exhibited by Karen Zebulon, alongside paintings honoring Tamangoh’s Juneteenth.
Through it all, Thorton said, local artists — and businesses — are getting a well-timed boost.
“ArtWalk highlights the work of local artists. This exposure leads to increased sales, future commissions, etc. and it also fosters community between artists and businesses,” he said. “Nothing makes us happier than seeing an artist and a company that was paired during the last ArtWalk partnership, or seeing artists collaborating because they met through ArtWalk. Building relationships and bringing people together is the best part of what we do.
And the timing of ArtWalk’s return is crucial, he said.
“Without art and artists, New York would be a much less vibrant place to live,” Thorton said. “Art is vital to our community and needs to be supported now more than ever.”
If you can’t make it to this year’s ArtWalk, fear not: Arts Gowanus honors and exhibits the work of local artists year-round. Some events, like the Gowanus Climate Futures Collage Workshop that took place last May, even allow participants to create their own art.
For more information on the exhibitions and one-day events at the ArtWalk, visit artsgowanus.org.