Streams

It Must be Summer: Open Studios in Bushwick and Music in the Parks

Saturday, May 31, 2014

"Disco Transformer" is a portable sound and light installation created by Bushwick artist Thomas Stevenson

Studios are opening their doors and music is coming to the parks — it’s the official start of the summer cultural season.

The Bushwick Open Studios art festival is in its eighth year, presenting exactly 623 shows.

Thomas Stevenson created a portable sound and light installation called Disco Transformer.

The piece looks like a food truck, wrapped in sheet metal. When it opens, it projects light through a disco ball, and it plays dance music from the 70s and 80s.

Stevenson says he is not sure the Bushwick crowd will dance, but his idea is to evoke street life in New York in a different era.

“The wilder, headier times, though less safe, may be in some respects a little bit more free form, in how people experienced the city, if you know what I mean,” he said.

Street Style, by Kyle Mumford

Sarah Reynolds is presenting her charcoal drawings for the second year in the festival. For this edition, she molded the paper with water, and let it dry overnight.

“The drawings have become almost sculptures, so I have been calling them 3D charcoal drawings,” she said. “It's all about using a medium that is pretty minimal but also pushing it beyond its boundaries.”

Timur York creates images out of the Arab Spring, and combines them intro prints.

He's been living in Bushwick for three years, but is presenting in the festival for the first time. York confessed he is nervous about people's reaction to his work.

“I am just hoping they will understand, they will ask questions,” he said. “It's me on the wall, that's what it comes out to, it is my work, this is me,” he said, laughing.

Most studios are open from noon to 7pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Egypt, by Timur York

Next week, summer festivals kick off in the parks.

R&B singer Janelle Monae is opening the Celebrate Brooklyn festival on Wednesday. The free festival with music, dance and film takes place at Prospect Park's Bandshell.

Other highlights include the bluegrass group Nickel Creek, a tribute to jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman, and the screening of the movie "Amandla: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony," about apartheid in South Africa. There are several benefit concerts, three of them by the indie-rock band The National.

The Summerstage festival also starts next week, bringing over 100 free performances to parks throughout the five boroughs.

It will include concerts celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Latin-music label Fania, singer-songwriter Andrew Bird, an evening honoring Pete Seeger, and a benefit concert with Beck.

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