2008 Arsenal Gallery Exhibits

Exhibits by Year:

December 4, 2008 – January 7, 2009

2008 Wreath Interpretations

Parks & Recreation celebrates the holiday season with its 26th annual exhibition of over 25 nontraditional wreaths. Fine artists, craftspeople, horticulturalists, graphic designers, engineers, preservationists, environmentalists, and other creative spirits put a new spin on this timeless circular form, using materials as varied as glass, flowers, motorcycle parts, natural fibers, and bicycle wheels. This witty and diverse collection of wreaths is composed of often very personal conceptions that comment on larger public concerns.

Cliff Harris: Circle of Beasts, 2008. Inkjet print of pen and ink drawing with digital coloring

September 10 - October 30, 2008

Sunbeam Dispatches: Photographs by Claire Lesteven

Sunbeam Dispatches features unique photographs of Central Park and other NYC Parks locations by Claire Lesteven. Ms. Lesteven presents romantic and haunting panoramas made with her homemade camera obscuras. Cylindrical in shape, the cameras have several apertures that create 360-degree views from the light that shines through them onto photosensitive paper. The resulting photographs reveal the expanse of the site where the photos are taken as well as introducing what appear to be abstract elements. The title Sunbeam Dispatches refers to the rays of sunlight that enter the hole in the camera obscura, the vehicles that carry the image to its destination. The "dispatches" that are created are the images made, like that of a news reporter, "in the field."

Ms. Lesteven is from France and is now based in Brooklyn, New York. She studied at the School of Fine Arts in Nantes, France. She has exhibited at various venues in Belgium, France, and the United States, including Socrates Sculpture Park and Snug Harbor Cultural Center, sites within the NYC Parks system.

The gallery wishes to thank The Cultural Services of the French Embassy for a grant that made the exhibition possible, the Central Park Conservancy for hosting Lesteven, and Veuve Clicquot Champagne and Compucolor for their generous donations.

Sunbeam Dispatches: Photographs by Claire Lesteven

June 25 - September 4, 2008

Into the Woods

Into the Woods features new landscape paintings by six artists: Diane Carr, Elisabeth Condon, Kim Krans, Kurt Lightner, Christopher Patch, and Anna Schachte. The artists' works explore forests as enchanted places, a theme that has long been featured in well known tales such as A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hansel and Gretel, and Little Red Riding Hood. Bringing their distinct styles to this fertile subject matter, each artist creates his unique interpretation of an imagined landscape with inventive use of color, imagery, and form.

Image: Anna Schachte, Painting Road

Anna Schachte, Painting Road

April 23 - June 19, 2008

Celebrating Greensward: The Plan for Central Park, 1858-2008

This exhibition is timed to mark the 150th anniversary of an enduring document, the Greensward Plan for Central Park, by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. The large–scale original drawing, which determined the contours of the world´s premier park, a unique and influential work of landscape art, will be on rare public display. The singular vision and genius of Olmsted and Vaux was a plan that masterfully blended formal, pastoral and picturesque regions to create unendingly variable vistas, and to create a democratic park for the city that would encourage use by all New Yorkers and visitors to the metropolis.

The exhibition illustrates the story of the park history and varied uses, as well as its decline, restoration and revival through a unique and groundbreaking partnership forged in 1980 between the City and the Central Park Conservancy.

May 15, 1965 happening in Central Park.

March 10 - April 10, 2008

Austen at the Arsenal

Alice Austen (1866 - 1952) was one of America´s earliest and most prolific female photographers (producing images as early as 1878), a landscape designer (founder and first president of the Staten Island Garden Club), a master tennis player, and the first woman on Staten Island to own a car, which she knew how to fix when it broke down. Austen never married; instead she spent fifty years with Gertrude Tate, her longtime companion. A rebel, Austen broke away from the ties of her Victorian environment to create her own independent life.

This show of Austen´s photographs includes both newly-discovered works and old favorites by Austen. The exhibition is organized by the Alice Austen House Museum, a member of NYC Parks and Recreation´s Historic House Trust.

Image: Alice Austen, Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, ca. 1890. Courtesy of the Alice Austen House Museum.

detail of quilt

February 1-29, 2008

Celebrating Black History

This exhibition features colorful handmade quilts as well as paintings, drawings, collage, fiber arts, ceramics, and photographs by Parks & Recreation employees, retirees, and participants at the City's recreation centers. The show is organized by Parks & Recreation's Ebony Society Black History committee.

detail of quilt

January 7 - 30, 2008

A Salute to Queens Parks

This exhibition, a collaboration of the New York City Parks & Recreation and The Queens Courier, features 50 photographs of Queens parks taken by local residents. Winners in three categories: Nature & Landscape, Places & Landmarks, and People & Individuals, along with overall Grand, Second, and Third Place winners are on display. The photographs reflect the beauty and diversity of the people, the neighborhoods, and the parks for which the borough is so proud.

The exhibit is simultaneously on display at the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadows Corona Park through February 3, 2008. The photographs will also be published in A Salute to Queens Parks: A Photo Book.

The exhibit is sponsored by Con Edison, New York Community Bank, Olympic Camera and Video, and Parkway Hospital.

Image: Oakland Lake, Spiro Fourniotis, 2007.

Oakland Lake, Spiro Fourniotis, 2007

History of the Arsenal

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