THE SPLASHY, ABSTRACT ART OF MARK T. SMITH might pop onto your radar this summer. The Pratt alum has been selected as an official Olympic artist for the 2008 Beijing games, the most recent highlight in a happening professional art career. Many years ago, hot off the Pratt presses, Smith landed his first major commission, from the Disney Company — a poster celebrating the 19th birthday of Walt Disney World. (Incidentally, this was the only piece of Disney art to ever retain the signature of the artist, Smith says.) That gig, followed by a signature Absolut campaign, Absolut Smith, launched him into New York art circles and a list of major league commercial clients. Now based in Miami, Smith has scaled back commissions to a small fraction of his work. His snazzy web site, www.marktsmith.com, displays samples of the winning Olympic art.
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DUMBO RESIDENT RUSSEL GRANGER is exploring Walt Whitman’s Brooklyn influences on his comprehensive, brand new web site — a labor of love for the web media creative director. He writes: “If Walt Whitman’s association with Brooklyn is not exactly overlooked by mainstream documentarians, then neither is it explicitly celebrated or, one might argue, sufficiently considered in the vast majority of critical analysis of his work. The fact of Whitman’s residency — he lived in Brooklyn for over half his life and twice as long as he lived anywhere else — might not seem so meaningful if Whitman’s poetry wasn’t so saturated with the physical world. Still, our journey here is entitled Whitman’s Brooklyn, not Brooklyn’s Whitman.”
Granger’s interest in antebellum Brooklyn began as a genealogical pursuit, when he discovered that every branch of his family can be traced to somewhere in Brooklyn from the 1830s. Moreover, it appears Whitman wrote about the Granger family. If you have passion for or knowledge of the subject, your input to the site is welcomed. www.whitmansbrooklyn.org.
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ON ALTERNATE THURSDAYS through August 28, Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum docent LUCIE CHIN will give free cellar-to-attic tours of the house, and the grounds’ caretaker, Walter Howell, will give garden workshops. The museum will stay open until 7 p.m. with free events for visitors to enjoy. For a complete schedule visit www.wyckoffassociation.org.
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ON SUNDAY, JULY 20, THE PERFORMING PONTANI SISTERS of Brooklyn intend to transform the Royale into a “fabulous flea market” by selling tons of showbiz artifacts. Duds will include costumes and headdresses, yards of flashy fabrics, trims, rhinestones, boas and racks of prime vintage clothing from their years of touring. Eldest sister Tara says, “When you open your giant storage unit, and a box of 120 ostrich plumes you didn’t even know you have falls on your head, you know it’s time to clean house!” The Royale is located at 506 Fifth Ave., Park Slope, and the sale will run from 4 to 8 p.m.
Army Pvt. GAWAYNE A. HARRIOTT and Army Spec. ALEKSANDR FARBEROV have graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. Harriott is a 2006 graduate of South Shore High School, Brooklyn. Farberov graduated in 2002 from Brooklyn Technical High School and received a bachelor’s degree in 2006 from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.