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Socrates Sculpture Park

The Daily Plant : Friday, February 23, 2001

BROOKLYN CULTURAL BLITZ

Between the Prospect Park Alliance, the Lefferts Homestead, the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, the Brooklyn Public Library Main Branch, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Children's Museum, and the Prospect Park Zoo, the arts expertise concentrated in the heart of Brooklyn is an irresistible resource. Even for the staff at those institutions. On December 14, 2000, The Daily Plant reported on the Brooklyn Cultural Activities Program (BCAP), a summer camp organized by all of those institutions. Most recently, BCAP offered a mid-winter camp the week of Tuesday, February 20 through Friday, February 23 for 30 kids on holiday from school. The children visited several of these institutions and studied each site in terms of its relationship to the theme of winter exploration.

At the Botanic Gardens kids made vegetarian chili with winter vegetables, and planted the seeds for a terrarium. At the Brooklyn Museum, they searched the galleries for "freeze frames." When they arrived in Prospect Park the kids not only carved figure-eights on ice floor, but learned about how the ice is made and how the zamboni grooms it. One of the two groups of 15 spent two days at the Lefferts Homestead in Prospect Park.

"How would you describe a weaving loom to someone at the other end of the phone line?" they were asked. Presented with a tray of artifacts, kids analyzed them in terms of how they might have helped a Lenape Indian or a Dutchman in the farming village of Flatbush survive a cold winter. A loom, a practice spear (a safe one), two types of fire-making kits, a quilt, and a candle mold were presented not as evidence of antiquated technology but as the tools of survival. And schoolkids on break from school, were asked to test just how user-friendly spears are, by aiming them through hoops being rolled across the homestead's front lawn. This is a game Lenape children played to fine-tune their hunting and fishing skills. In the course of their two days at the Homestead, the kids had the chance to use all of the tools on the tray. In the event of a blackout, they'll be well trained.

The two days also included a tour of the house and a viewing of an authentic rope bed-the origin of the phrase sleep tight. When the ropes supporting the straw mattress and the sleeping body were pulled tight, it made for sounder slumber.

PARK ART: WORKS BY WOMEN

Parks' Arsenal Gallery will highlight Women's History Month in Women's Works 1967-2001: A Retrospective of Public Artists in New York City Parks. Since 1967 Parks has installed public art in all five boroughs through its Temporary Art Program. Of the works shown through the program, many of the most striking are by women. The plans, drawings, and photographs of these, on view in the Arsenal Gallery for the month of March, will help describe how women's artwork has defined the visual landscape of New York City. Their works run the gamut from sculptural feats of engineering to re-envisioned commercial objects, like a parked Volkswagon with trees growing out of it.

In keeping with tradition-see Thirteen Years Ago in the Plant-Parks will also host a panel discussion about women's status in the world of public art. The Executive Director of Socrates Sculpture Park, the Program Director of Public Art for Public Schools, a sculptor, and a Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at Lehman College will offer their professional insight. The discussion will be held in the Arsenal Gallery on March 13 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Jonathan (Archive) Kuhn, Director of Art and Antiquities will start the evening with a slideshow presentation. Adrian (Sassafras) Sas, Public Art Curator organized the exhibit.

CORRECTION

A men's basketball coach at York College and a track coach with Jeuness were not listed among the panelists who spoke at Parks' National Girls and Women in Sports Day at the St. John's Recreation Center in the February 20, 2001 issue of The Daily Plant. Through their participation they made a valuable contribution to the day.

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Friday, March 4, 1988)

PARKS TO HOST FORUM ON "WOMEN AND PUBLIC ART"

To mark Women's History Month, Parks will present a forum, "Women & Public Art: Past and Present," on Thursday, March 10 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Arsenal Gallery on the third floor of the landmark Arsenal building, located at Fifth Avenue and 64th Street in Central Park. The free program includes two slide presentations and a panel discussion. "Women & Public Art" will feature slide presentations by Michelle Cohen, Sculpture Survey Director for the New York City Art Commission, and Margaret Tsirantonakis, Public Art Coordinator for Parks. Cohen's presentation, "Historical Perspective," will focus on public art by women, of women, and sponsored by women from the earliest 19th century to the present.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"Progressive art can assist people to learn not only about the
objective forces at work in the society in which they live,
but also about the intensely social character of their interior
lives. Ultimately, it can propel people toward social emancipation."

Angela Davis (b. 1944)

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