Announcing the artists for “Brooklyn Utopias: In TRANSITion!” and Kickstarter launched!

22 Aug

We are pleased to announce an amazing lineup of artists and event participants for the 2013 Brooklyn Utopias exhibition at the Old Stone House & Washington Park, addressing critical transportation issues! View their names, a preview of some of the artwork, and complete info about the show on our Upcoming Exhibitions page!

Also, we really need your support this year to raise enough funds to cover production costs for all participating artists to create, frame, and/or transport their work…and to install it professionally. This is our most ambitious exhibition yet, so we are counting on you to join our team, plus there are some great rewards, including an invite to our VIP reception!


Thank you to everyone who supported us last year!

Call for entries: Brookyn Utopias: In TRANSITion!

16 May

NOTE: Calls for submissions for the September 2013 show are now closed. Please visit the Upcoming Exhibitions page for more information on the selected artists!

Our newest Brooklyn Utopias exhibition is being planned for September 2013, inviting artists to consider the future of urban transportation in Brooklyn and beyond.  We will have a main exhibition in Brooklyn’s Old Stone House & Washington Park gallery and grounds, and satellite public art exhibitions at nearby traffic medians on 4th Avenue in Park Slope/Gowanus, Brooklyn, in partnership with the Department of Transportation.

We are now welcoming submissions from artists and organizations, due Monday, July 15!

Visit the Calls for Entry page to find out how to get involved in this exciting new Brooklyn Utopias project.


What people are saying about “Brooklyn Utopias: Park Space, Play Space” (2012 exhibition)

29 Oct

“After spending time in the tranquility of Brooklyn Utopias: Park Space, Play Space [2012] in theOld Stone House…it was possible to imagine…that artists are an essential voice in imagining an exuberant, yet intelligently developed, future for the borough.”
– Allison Meier, Hyperallergic

“I really enjoyed the artist talks at opening night, giving the sense of a broader community of shared interests expressed through varied aestheric and conceptual visions. I have a better sense of some of the issues of interest to Brooklynites.”
– Jonathan Kuhn, Director of Arts & Antiquities, NYC Parks Department, and “Brooklyn Utopias: Park Space, Play Space” selection panelist.

“I think the show was very well curated with other artists who are exploring a similar dialogue. Meeting the other artists and exploring their work, as well as being part of an exhibit in a space off the usual gallery map, which because of location is just as concerned with the theme of the show as the participants, were all equally rewarding. Participating impacted my artistic development because I chose to create a piece specifically for the show relating to the rebuilding of the park and the surroundings. I was forced to research the before and after and decide what could be, having myself engage in the space more intimately, than by just hanging an existing piece in a show.”
– Christine Gedeon, artist

“Having the show pushed my wok further and helped me to focus in on many aspects of what was an otherwise nebulous chain of ideas.”
– Jeff Hutchison of Husk, artist

“It was rewarding to meet other artists and see their ideas for and reactions to the spaces of Brooklyn.”
– Stephanie Beck, artist

“The most rewarding experience participating in the Brooklyn Utopias project was to meet fellow artists who are exploring
urban topics in general and Brooklyn specifically. Also, during an artist talk, I had a chance to meet visitors, discuss
my project in depth and have engaging conversations. I think the show was a great opportunity to introduce the local community to artistic projects that bring attention to various aspects of Brooklyn life that otherwise would be overlooked.”
– Marina Zamalin, artist

“The exhibit was distinguished by the great diversity of the works: media, mediums, performances, tours, activities, play, implied skepticism, implied optimism, direct activism, and indirect aesthetics. This multiplicity of approaches gave it a feeling of a wide porous scope.”
– Will Pappenheimer, artist

Brooklyn Utopias exhibits are based in spaces that are topically linked in a way that the space informs the work, and the work informs the space.  Brooklyn Utopias is a holistic experience and encompasses a larger critical experience than the exhibit itself – from panel discussions, to public event programming, to your partnership organizations, there are multiple points of access to contemplate the subject matter.  It’s also distinctly community focused.”
– Kim Maier, Executive Director, Old Stone House

“It was rewarding to connect with other panelists and have the opportunity to share Groundswell’s work with a broader audience.”
– Amy Sananman, Executive Director, Groundswell, and “Brooklyn Utopias: Park Space, Play Space” event participant

“Katherine Gressel’s distinctive approach to curatorial inquiry employs deep, specific place-based exploration of the transformative power of art to describe (as well as imagine) the cultural layers that might catalyze positive change upon the underlying structure of the physical, built environment and/or the socio-psychic fabric of community relationships.”
– Derek Denckla, Project Coordinator, Slow Money Resource Hub, Co-Curator, Brooklyn Utopias: Farm City (2010) and panel discussion participant, Brooklyn Utopias? (2009)

“The most rewarding part of the Brooklyn Utopias experience for me was actually getting to play Circle Rules football in an organized fashion with lots of kids.  I’m so used to running league games with VERY serious athletes and yelling and hard, fast competition.  It was a blast to just watch kids go at it and have fun.   There were several kids that played that day that started showing up routinely to play on Sundays in Prospect park.”
– Scott Riehs, Circle Rules Federation member and “Brooklyn Utopias: Park Space, Play Space” event participant”

Photos from Tracy Candido’s “Pining for You: A Celebration of Queer Love”

29 Oct

Tracy Candido’s successful June 16 event brought friends and community members together to celebrate, plant a symbolic pine tree, and eat homemade almond cake in the spirit of Dutch wedding traditions,  in the Old Stone House’s garden. Read more about this event at our Past Events page!

Photos from Bettina Johae’s May 19 Bike Tour!

8 Jun

Bettina Jojae’s “eminent domain: Brooklyn” bike tour on May 19 was a huge success! Read more about it at our Past Events page.



Exhibition Photos by Rick Schwab

13 May

All photos by Rick Schwab unless otherwise indicated

Check out our new “Past Events” page for coverage of our April 28 events!

13 May

I am pleased to report our April 28 events were a big success! Three artists/arts groups presented innovative community events around the themes of public space, public parks, and play. Artist/activist Triada Samaras led a brainstorming/mural-making session around the future use of the “Public Place” brownfield in Gowanus. Circle Rules Federation re-defined the idea of a tournament by leading a new type of football game out in the park, complete with costumes and a horn-player. Kat Schneck dared the public to stop for a few minutes and “daydream” by lying on a towel and watching the sky. All events were well-attended and fun, not to mention thought-provoking!

Check out a full summary and links to photos and press coverage at our new PAST EVENTS page!

Make sure to also visit our press page for complete links to our ongoing press coverage.

Here are a few highlights below from the “Public Voice, Public Dream” workshop:

Participants of all ages work on collages to envision a future for “Public Place.”

A young participant’s vision for “Public Place”

Triada Samaras reports that her “Brooklyn Utopias: Park Space, Play Space” workshop has led to an ongoing effort to engage community members in critical discussion around the Public Place site (see below update from Triada):

“Due to the great success of our Free Public Place art/activist workshop last Saturday at the Old Stone House with the Brooklyn Utopias: Park Space, Play Space exhibition, we are starting a new feature at our CORD blog.

We plan to exhibit one “Free Public Place” artwork per day from this workshop, complete with the explanation by the artist.  This art work will also be posted to our Free Public Place Facebook page, where the public can continue to weigh in with YOUR ideas and thoughts for Public Place after the EPA Superfund Clean-up. 

All ideas are welcome!  And please remember to read the lovely write up about our event at Pardon Me for Asking.  Katia writes,  “Perhaps they (these artists) could teach City Planning a thing or two?”

PS  Please see our new blog format and tell us if you like it!  We are testing some new templates.  🙂
write to us at

Check out the latest photos and press from our opening!

12 Apr

Thank you to everyone who came to the April 5 “Brooklyn Utopias: Park Space, Play Space” opening reception and artist talks! We attracted some great crowds, as well as some attention from the press:

The L Magazine

Pardon Me for Asking (also picked up by Brownstoner and Curbed!)

See the photos from the opening on our Facebook page, thanks to Media Converged!! (Don’t forget to “like” both pages!). We’ll post some highlights directly here soon!

And if you missed the opening festivities, simply save the dates for all our upcoming events!



New press!

27 Mar

A new article in the Brooklyn Paper by Aaron Short previews the show, describing some of its “intriguing ideas:”

Send us YOUR Brooklyn Utopias and Park Spaces/Play Spaces, and virtual skywriting!

26 Mar

We are pleased to introduce a few new ways to get involved with Brooklyn Utopias: Park Space, Play Space:


Send YOUR Brooklyn Utopia or YOUR favorite park space/play space
Through our new partnership with Media Converged, we are now inviting the public to engage with the exhibit, by asking for submissions – “What is your Brooklyn Utopia?” or “What is your favorite Park Space or Play Space?” Entries consist of: photographs, video clips and poetry.  Entries will be accepted via our facebook page Brooklyn Utopias, our pinterest page and featured on here. You may also email submissions to lara@mediaconverged.comfor inclusion on the blog. We also welcome people to follow our exhibit on twitter with hashtag #brooklynutopias, and pinterest.

Submit a virtual skywriting drawing or message
As part of our Kickstarter campaign artist Will Pappenheimer will take the first 20 drawings for a $5 pledge or more that will be the first to be drawn in the virtual sky above the Old Stone House and Washington Park area! They will be part of the launch of his Brooklyn Utopias, Park Space, Play Space augmented reality park project for smartphones/ipads, Sky Mills:

After you pledge: Instructions are easy: Use a sheet of paper scanned or photographed or a drawing program (like Photoshop) or make a simple line drawing or word sequence in a square area. Send it as a JPEG to the artist Will Pappenheimer at with subject heading “Brooklyn Utopias Sky Drawing” and he will convert it into virtual airplane trails for the sky by the opening on April 5. See below for a sample image of what the virtual skywriting will look like! If you pledge $10 or more and select this gift, you will also automatically receive free admission to our Patrons’ Reception at 6:30 on April 5.