Dumbo Arts Fest 2014: An inside look


New York, NEW YORK -- This past weekend 200,000 people gathered under the Manhattan Bridge for the Dumbo Arts Festival put on by over 400 artists, 100 studios, 50 galleries and stages and 100 programming partners. St. Ann’s Warehouse, an old tobacco warehouse, served as the main gallery location, offering a rare glimpse into historic industrial Brooklyn.

According to the festival's website, it seeks to help foster art appreciation by featuring the best of local, national and international works. The various exhibitions featured as many mediums as there are masterpieces, including outdoor and indoor visual art displays, digital art, dancers, poets and art studios that were assembled both inside and outside of the event. There was art for every type of onlooker from luminescent sculptures, to art in motion with larger-than-life Spirograph, to art merged with technology in an interactive tech playground.

Sculpture busts by Debbie Han for her collection "Terms of Beauty VII." Photo by Hannah Grubb.

If you ask Brooklyn native Richard Kennard, it's this variety that draws the crowd. “There’s visual arts, interactive arts, music, everything.  There’s even worldwide live drawing going on right now," he said.

Since the festival’s conception 12 years ago, Kennard has volunteered in organizing its diverse galleries.  Is this the dedication of an artist?  Not for Kennard. “I just appreciate art very much," he said.

Three highlights of the event included Tom Fruin's stained-plexiglass shack (as seen in the cover photo), the South Asian Women's Creative Collective (SAWCC) series, "Beauty" and Heather Hart's Barter Town.

Fruin's shack, located near the Brooklyn Bridge, reflected the sun during the day and illuminated from within at night. The shack served as a miniature theatre house featuring live acts each night of the festival, courtesy of CoreAct.

"Beauty" encouraged visitors to participate in various investigations concerning society's view of women based on their physical appearance. Barter Town allows visitors and vendors to trade objects of any and every kind, with each booth deciding its own terms of exchange.

King's student Varut Chee ('15) attended the event on its opening night and spoke very highly of its “modern art, cute pop-up shops, and good vibes.” He encouraged classmates, New York City dwellers and visitors to enjoy the entire experience.

Beyond the galleries, visitors surveyed the array of exotic food tucks lining the streets and observed outdoor art installments with the picturesque backdrop of the East River.