WHEN LOCAL ARTIST DANIEL MICHALIK was asked to create furniture from alternative materials for his graduate thesis, he started experimenting, looking for something new, in large-enough dimensions for a chair. He struck proverbial gold with cork, an unconventional material that he — like most people — knew almost nothing about.
“I researched everything about it,” says Michalik. “I realized it was a whole new world I’d never discovered.”
What he learned about cork is exciting and promising. Cork is waterproof, shows a high tolerance to heat and wears long-term without showing distress. It is resistant to mold and mildew, ideal for outdoor furniture. Most importantly, as Michalik says, cork is a sustainable, recyclable and plentiful environmentally responsible material.
Moreover, Michalik has a way of making it beautiful. He continued to explore the potential of cork after leaving the Rhode Island School of Design and moving to New York in the fall of 2006, now based in the growing amalgamation of art and commerce that is East Williamsburg. His studio, DMFD (Daniel Michalik Furniture Design), proudly partnered with Swarovski Crystal in the company’s “Crystallized” exhibit at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair at the Javits Center last month.
Now, Michalik is representing Brooklyn in a furniture exhibit at SUNY Purchase called “Seats of New York: Benches, Stools and Chairs From Across the State.” The exhibition, free and open to the public, is on display until July 19 at the Maass Gallery, in the Art and Design Building at Purchase College. For more information, call (914) 251-6750.
To see the extent of Michalik’s cork creations, visit www.danielmichalik.com.
HEIDI ROSBE, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF THE Arab-American Association of New York, has announced this year’s Bay Ridge Arab-American Bazaar. The event is scheduled for July 13, in the midst of New York City’s Arab-American Heritage Week. Geared toward families, it will include all elements of a good bazaar — music, dance performances and workshops, arts and crafts, games and food, at Shore Road Park (79th Street and Shore Road). For more info, call (718) 745-3523. Companies/organizations interested in sponsoring or tabling at the event can e-mail ArabAmericanNY@gmail.com.
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BED-STUY RESIDENT PHYLLIS JOHNSON is thrilled to have her award-winning film, “I’m Through With White Girls,” screen as part of the Afro-Punk Festival at BAM Rose Cinemas, July 7, 9:30 p.m. “The film is about being done with the idea of the ‘white’ and ‘black’ stereotypes in our culture,” says Johnson. In the past year, the film has traveled worldwide, winning numerous awards on the festival circuit including the Blockbuster Audience Award at the American Black Film Festival. Johnson is executive producer and one half of the producing team behind Turn Soul Films, which she helms with her L.A.-based twin sister.
IN OTHER NEWS:
FRANCINE ALFONTENT BECAME A MOM Monday afternoon in a way and a place entirely unplanned. Brooklyn residents Alfontent and husband Max were on their way to Bellevue Hospital Monday when Alfontent started having contractions. “My wife started feeling funny on the train, so I told the conductor and he called ahead to the station,” Max Alfontent told the Daily News. On the East Broadway F train platform, Alfontent gave birth to a baby girl, Soleil, with the help of about a dozen New Yorkers, including one nurse, who stepped off the trains that continued to arrive. At the last minute, emergency responders helped deliver the little girl. The many media outlets following the story report that mom and baby are doing well.
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THE HBO PSYCHOTHERAPY DRAMA “In Treatment,” starring Brooklyn Heights resident GABRIEL BYRNE as Dr. Paul Weston, has been renewed for a second season, according to Reuters. The series, which chronicles the weekly sessions of the doctor with his regular patients and his own visits to a therapist, will move production from Los Angeles to New York City, following the example of “Ugly Betty.” New York State’s recent decision to triple its film and TV productions tax credit to 30 percent, with New York City offering an additional 5 percent credit, contributed to both transplants.
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A FEW WEEKS AGO, SINGER BOY GEORGE announced that he would return to the place where he completed his 2007 community service — the Department of Sanitation training facility in Brooklyn — to perform at the department’s Family Day in August, according to www.NME.com. The gesture was to say thank you for “the kindness shown to him by the Department of Sanitation of New York.” However, the pop star’s web site says that he was unexpectedly denied a visa to enter the U.S. in light of his pending November trial in London, so all summer plans are off.
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KRYSTOPHER TYNDALL, from Brooklyn’s Edward R. Murrow High School, was one of five New York City students to win the second annual scholarships from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. One student from each borough was chosen to receive a $5,000 scholarship based on a personal essay and financial need. Tyndall is headed to SUNY Binghamton to receive a law degree with the intention of helping musicians obtain their due royalties from their music.
Three of eight New York students who won scholarships from the local branch of AXA were Brooklynites. ELIZABETH FITZPATRICK of Bishop Kearney High School, AMANDA LARRACUENTE of Brooklyn Technical High School and Dmitriy Timerman of Stuyvesant High School each received $2,000. Army Pvt. LETICIA M. GARCIA has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. Garcia is a 2005 graduate of Canarsie High School.