Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Surprise Art is the Best Art

I'm lucky enough to live a block from the biggest library in Brooklyn. It is also the only one open on Sundays. So the other day when my daughter needed to visit it I was glad to take a walk with her.

On the way there we walked through the part of grand Army Plaza between the arch and Prospect Park. On Saturdays it's a farmers market on other days it's just a big empty space where they sometimes put your car when they tow it so they can make a movie in Park Slope.  On our walk towards the library we saw a guy putting the finishing touches on a couple of metallic stick figures that seem to have some sort of motor that made them blank or wiggle as we walked by. My daughter appreciated them that much more than she would have a few months ago because she is now in the middle of her anatomy class at her art high school.

On our way back home the fun was just kicking off. It seemed we were just walking into some sort of art event and we were invited to sit down and join them. They were a handful of of rectangular table set up all covered with a white cloth. We were told that they were making a flag and that we were all invited to paint... It took her about 10 minutes to add my portrait to the flag.

I really enjoyed sitting there and posing for my daughter. I took the time to tell her that this is what college might be like. Getting a chance to spend a little bit of money on an art project, engaging the public, creating a website. I'm not sure if I shared this information with my daughter because I wanted her to know what college might be like or because I just enjoyed imagining that my daughter would be doing this in the future.

In any case there was also readings of short stories and poems. We also were handed the lyrics to a song that we sang together. Grand Army Plaza: Crossroads of Inequality. I include a scan of the lyrics below. It took a great deal of effort on my part not to correct the artists because they kept calling the street that I live on Union Avenue. It is Union Street.

Then we voted to change the symbolic bird of the United States from the bald eagle to the barn owl. Here is a link to the press release about the event.

Bumping into this art help turn a frustrating experience in the library to a wonderful afternoon.

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