Art, // August 14, 2013
A Heart Beats in Brooklyn #1
I went to my local hardware and garden store, Crest Hardware, to get tomato and Strawberry plants for my fire escape. The first thing I noticed as we entered the backyard was a huge, intricately painted ship. “Wow,” I thought, “this is a serious piece of artwork. One of the employees must be an artist. How cool that!” As I walked back through the store, I slowly started noticing more and more artwork. It hung randomly from the ceiling, on the walls and was mixed in on the shelves, along with hoses, drills, paint, adapters, extension cords etc. I didn’t notice it all at first. I thought I was just shopping in a hardware store decorated with some cool art. I finally realized there was an Art Show and I thought, “Of course, why not?”
It made me reflect on the recent events of “Bushwick Open Studios.” It’s a weekend, once a year in Bushwick, Brooklyn, when galleries, restaurants, bars, stores, people’s apartments and random spaces are filled with artwork and events, all open to the public. This year there were over 600 participants.
What I realized is that we don’t need to limit this to once a year. It doesn’t need to be a special event. A restaurant, food coop, bar, hardware store or other business can do this year round. It’s not just about decorating the walls. It’s about the conversation we have in our public spaces.
We should use every chance we have to display art in public. It might seem silent but we see and hear so much without realizing it. I know some coffee shops, bars and restaurants already do this and it’s awesome. It’s what we feed ourselves in a collective way and I like it.
By: Kate Maude, Brooklyn, NY