Weekend Notepad: Art on Guv's Island

By Peggy Roalf   Thursday August 29, 2019

Heading the holiday weekend leader board—for me, at least—is Portal: Governors Island. The 12thannual art fair organized by 4heads, and formerly known as Governors Island Art Fair, has been renamed with a view towards more expansive future programming.

This year it opens on Summer’s closing moment, and brings 89 artists from New York and abroad for a month-long stay. Installations, which span the spectrum of artistic genre and media, will be presented across eight of the historic homes on Colonels Row, with each artist installing in an individual room or connective space. Portal: Governors Island headlines the start of the fall visual arts season in New York, with a spirited atmosphere that encourages conversation between artists and visitors in a welcoming, country-like setting. 

Some of the New York-area artists shown include Sherri Hay, DART subscriber Anne Muntges (below), Aaron Li-Hill, Lewis Derogene known artistically as PhenomenaLewis, Federico Muela, and Kerry Lessard. More info about the artists can be found here.

Portal: Governors Islandwill be open every Saturday and Sunday through from August 31 to September 29, 2019.  Ferries will run on a weekend schedule for both Manhattan and Brooklyn service on Labor Day (Monday, September 2). Governors Island will be open until 7 PM that day. Info 

TopRachel Whiteread, Cabin, 2016; photo © Timothy Schenck, courtesy of The Trust for Governors Island. 

Installation by Anne Muntges

Opening Saturday, August 31

Draw With Water, 6-8 pm. Plunge into the augmented reality underwater environment and collaboratively create with Mirage XR, developed by Sky Rolnick, Jump Into the Light co-founder. Artist floor talks begin at 5 pm with  Ioana PioaruEva Davidova and Travis Paquin. Nolan Park Building 403. Info

Among the continuing art-science-architecture-culture GI programs are:

Never Comes Tomorrow by Jacob Hashimoto. A colorful, whimsical overhead outdoor installation adapted for Governors Island’s landmark Liggett Hall Archway, this is Hashimoto’s first major public art installation in NYC. Constructed of hundreds of wooden cubes and massive steel funnels, this high energy sculptural installation plays with the architecture of the passageway, creating a virtual time tunnel or vortex between the Island’s Historic District and newly designed park with its colorful installation of forms. Never Comes Tomorrow merges Hashimoto’s interests in the systems of architecture, history and cosmology. Info

Cabin by Rachel Whiteread continues the artist’s interest in producing evocative sculptures of negative spaces and structures. In this case, the artist has sited a concrete cast of the interior of a simple cabin, a place suggestive of retreat and introspection. Sitting modestly on the hillside of Discovery Hill overlooking New York Harbor, the sculpture creates a sense of contemplative quiet and distance from the bustle of the city across the water. Info


Church by Shantell Martin, through October 31. Inspired by her personal experiences and research on the vibrant history of the Island, Church,completely covered with Martin’s line drawings (above) , invites visitors to circumnavigate the former chapel’s architecture through image and narrative, engaging with the dynamism of the landscapes that surround it. In this way, the work serves to highlight and help reimagine a building that has long been empty and closed to the public. Info

Triangle Arts Association 2019 Governors Island Artists in Residence Studios, Nolan Park House 7. Info

Japan Performing Arts Festival, August 30-31. Presenting Japan’s Big Three Bon Odori dances into one venue, including Nishimonai Bon Odori from Akita, Gujo Odori from Gifu, and Awa Odori from Tokushima. Governors Island visitors will have hands-on Bon Odori dance sessions and more Japanese summer festival experiences here in New York. Outlook Hill and Nolan Park. Info  

Imagination of Space presented by The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, through August 31. Organized and curated by Ceren Bingol, the installation is dedicated to the exploration and exhibition of projects in architecture, art, poetry, sound and performance. A series of residencies and exhibitions will feature professional and student artists, architects, poets and writers creating and collaborating on immersive work that celebrates imagination in space, ecology, form, light, sound and material. Nolan Park Info

Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts. Rwanda Retold: 25th Anniversary of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi showcases emerging Rwandan artists set to change the narrative of their country through their own creative expression. Providing a glimpse into the lives of different generations and how their history has impacted them, we take a look at the aftermath of what happened “over there” years ago. Info

Never Comes Tomorrow by Jake Hashimoto

Saturday, August 31

Pioneer Works | Astronomy on Governors Island: Stargazing from 5 to 9 pm, Nolan Park at Nolan Park House 8B. Info

Drawdown Solutions: Getting Into Action, 1:30-4 pm. Presentations based on the multi-year scientific study that resulted in the New York Times Best Selling Environmental Book, Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. Followed by a Special Compost Demo and refreshments At Earth Matter’s Compost Learning Center on Governors Island at 4pm. Nolan Park House 4B. Info

Monday, September 2

The Holocenter: Holographic Embodiment. An exhibition of art holograms and holographic media that explore physicality at the confluence of the real and virtual. Perceptions and sensations are augmented as our bodies extend into and enfold virtual engagement. Info

Governors Island ferries will run on a weekend schedule for both Manhattan and Brooklyn service on Labor Day (Monday, September 2). Governors Island will be open until 7 PM that day. Info  Main page Info



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