Outdoor Art in Bay Ridge and Beyond

06/05/2013 4:00 AM |

Should your seasonal humors, needs and predilections be such that you find expansive, mixedly interactive art events particularly enjoyable when they merge outdoor strolling with aesthetic diversion and exploration, then we encourage you to take note of some thusly profiled goings-on this summer.


On the immediate horizon (June 8-9) is Figment, a deeply, at times perhaps rambunctiously collaborative and interdisciplinary festival that takes place on—or really, takes over—Governor’s Island for a weekend every year. Scores of artists and collectives have tailored their artworks and performances for the venue’s peculiarities and the festival’s non-commercial, broadly participatory intent. Plan for plentiful free fun, and maybe a picnic, too. The peoplewatching will be exhibition-worthy in its own way, and you can even have your portrait drawn on a matchbook by the ubiquitous 0H10 M1ke while you take it all in. Or turn into an inflated animal on a bike thanks to Aeolian Ride. Or display your courage and might via medieval martial arts with Dagorhir. Or whatever—just get yourself to the ferry and craft your own three (or more) hour tour of self-marooning.

Bay Ridge SAW

It’s been going on for a couple weeks already, but you still have until June 21 to head down to Bay Ridge for its fourth annual SAW—Storefront Art Walk—in which generally front-window-bound installations by a dozen or so artists are distributed along a 10-block stretch of Fifth Avenue. It’s a great elision of indoors and outdoors, and maybe errands; you can pick up flowers, booze, and baked goods while you’re at it. Then top it all off with vino and stuzzichini at the Owl’s Head wine bar.

Norte Maar at Socrates Sculpture Park

Come August, then, allow Jason Andrew and Julia Gleich of Norte Maar to lure you to Socrates Sculpture Park, where the two tireless promoters and practitioners of collaboration and cross-insemination in the arts will produce four weeks of dance performances inspired and backdropped by the park’s resident artworks. Catch dancers and choreographers working out routines in full view during the week, then head back on Saturdays for final shows. It’s a great chance to witness the rigorous rounds of innovation and experimentation involved with such large-scale, time-sensitive productions. Look for which sequences make the cut and which get axed. And all in situ, from first rehearsals to wrapped acts.

Get comfortable shoes, sunglasses, maybe sunscreen. Add all three events to your agenda, and plan to have a blast.

Photo by Henry Stewart,
Kim Smith’s Charcoal Bags in Bay Ridge SAW

You can follow Paul D’Agostino on Twitter @postuccio