CANADIAN TRANSPLANT DAVID EUSTACE is in touch with the Gowanus Canal — more in touch than most Brooklynites ever will be — and it keeps pulling him closer. The artist has lived in Brooklyn for eight years, previously on Fourth Avenue, then Third Avenue, and now near the intersection of Smith and 9 streets. “I have kind of been creeping down toward the canal,” he said.
For two years, Eustace has been hanging primed canvases marked with raw iron filings and other materials in the canal to track the passage of time through the movement of water. Four large paintings that received this treatment are the centerpieces of a visual arts exhibition titled “Project for Canal,” open May 15-18 at Brooklyn Artists Gym gallery. Before submersion, each canvas was marked with symbols used to track time. Once back in the studio, they were marked with the time and date of 120 high and low tides at the level they occurred. The artist’s statement says about them: “These works document rhythms that underwrite our existence — tides, the spinning of the earth; the exhibition focuses the viewer’s attention on these rhythms, and asks them to consider their relationship.” On May 17, in conjunction with the exhibition, the not-for-profit organization Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy will be running free, half-hour boat tours to the site where the canvases were made so visitors can experience the tidal canal. Tours begin at 6 p.m., leaving from the 2nd Street Public Dock, and space is available on a first-come, first-served basis; email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a reservation.
Visible from the same dock is Eustace’s current phase of “Project for Canal,” a white canvas bearing the numbers 1:2294 and images of the earth and moon set 109 inches apart. The ratio is intended to give the viewer a cosmic perspective of the canal: one inch represents 2,294 miles. According to the ratio, the next closest planetary neighbor, Venus, is almost 11,000 inches, or .17 miles, up the canal, represented by a bicycle reflector tied to the end of a boat dock just before the Union Street Bridge. A tiny, orange reflector representing Mercury can be found at the very eastern end of the canal, and Jupiter is somewhere out by the Statue of Liberty.
“Project for Canal” is sponsored in part by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC). For exhibition details, visit www.projectforcanal.com.
AS A BOARD MEMBER FOR THE ACKERMAN INSTITUTE FOR THE FAMILY, Brooklyn Heights resident BLAIR BREWSTER helped the Institute’s April 22 Annual Theatre Benefit performance of “The Country Girl,” performed by Academy Award winners Morgan Freeman and Frances McDormand, to be a sold-out affair. The pre-show dinner at the Marriott and the show together grossed $160,000 for AIF, a premier institution for family therapy.
BROOKLYN-BORN AND RAISED WARREN ADLER has returned to New York after being away in L.A. and Jackson Hole, Wyo., among other places, for 40 years, according to The Jewish Week. The 80-year-old author has two newly published books, bringing his total number to 30. His novel “Funny Boys” relives Brooklyn’s Jewish gangs of the 1930s, inspired by a 24-hour candy store around the corner from his childhood home that he later learned was the headquarters of Murder Incorporated, an organized crime organization that carried out hundreds of murders on behalf of the mob. “New York Echoes,” which Adler has written since he’s been back, is his fifth collection of short stories about Gotham City.
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WRITER/DIRECTOR RODNEY EVANS, director/producer MIKE BROWN and director MIAO WANG, all Brooklynites, will each have unprecedented access to the film community during the Tribeca Film Festival through the supplemental program Tribeca All Access (TAA). These artists and 34 from outside the borough were chosen to be part of TAA from an applicant pool of 550 script entries. The selected individuals will have the opportunity to attend workshops and present their scripts in prescheduled one-on-one meetings with potential investors, development executives, producers and agents. They were selected for their work titled “Day Dream” (Evans), “25 to Life” (Brown) and “Beijing Taxi” (Wang).
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TOM LELLIS, Brooklyn-based jazz and Brazilian vocal sensation, and Brazilian guitarist TONINHO HORTA will kick off the first of five U.S. performances as a duet on May 16 at the Fazioli Salon. Lellis is universally regarded as a soulful, lyrical singer and Horta, from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, is an accomplished composer, singer and guitarist who has performed around the world. Lellis and Horta began collaborating in 1993 when Lellis expanded into Brazilian music. Their new album “Tonight” will be released June 2008 by Adventure Music. Fazioli Salon is at 211 West 58 St.; the show begins at 8 p.m.
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SINCE 1985, THE ARTIST LOFTS AT 35 CLAVER PLACE in Bedford-Stuyvesant have been home to numerous emerging and established artists under the care of ANTHONY CHAMBERLAIN and GINA INVERSO-CHAMBERLAIN. On May 17 and 18, fourteen residents at 35 Claver will participate in the annual SONYA (South of the Navy Yard Artists) Studio Stroll, through which visitors can intimately experience the studios where paintings, installations and photographs are created. Four new artists have joined 35 Claver Place since the previous Sonya Stroll — Kennis Baptiste, Sam Bland, Ju-Yeon Kim and Cedar Mannan — all of whom will be welcoming visitors to their studios at the event. For more information visit www.35claver.org. SONYA is a non-profit organization of visual artists living, creating and exhibiting; its home base is at 394 Waverly Avenue in Clinton Hill. The SONYA Stroll happens each third weekend in May. For a map of the stroll and more info, visit http://www.sonyaonline.org/.