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A new exhibition of Atlantic Yards-related art opens Friday; two panels follow in next month

Peter Krashes, More Filled Seats Magnifies
 the Message
, 2009. Image courtesy of the artist. 
"Block Party," a new exhibition of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park-related paintings opens Friday, 9/15/17 in midtown Manhattan and runs through Saturday, 10/28/17.

The work of artist and community organizer Peter Krashes (of the Dean Street Block Association), a neighbor of the project, the paintings--at least the ones made public--are neither agitprop nor documentation, but are far more project-related than the unmoored art hyped by the developers.

Location: The James Gallery, The Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Avenue, First Floor.

The exhibition will be accompanied by two panels that discuss the project over the next month, as noted below, one of which includes me.

The description

From the Center for the Humanities of the City University of New York Graduate Center:
Please join us Friday, September 15th from 6 to 8pm at the James Gallery for the opening reception of “Block Party” an exhibition of paintings by artist and community organizer Peter Krashes. We invite the Graduate Center community to a special Speakers' Corner to add their voices and ideas about new visions for use of the ground floor of our building.
Peter Krashes' studio painting over the past decade stands as one complete body of artistic research growing directly out of his other practice as an unpaid community organizer in the Dean Street area of Prospect Heights in Brooklyn.

...Taking a different approach to generating cultural power, Krashes has generated this body of paintings through working out questions that arise in his range of collaborative activist practices. For example, frustration with the narrow, sometimes apparently biased focus of the media has led Krashes to make paintings depicting the glare of cameras pointed in elected officials' faces or expansive interiors of government chambers with recurring images of empty microphones. He also paints the flipside of this equation, namely that individual voices speaking collectively can exercise power. Neighbors painting protest signs, children's face painting, Easter egg hunts, seedbombs tossed into empty lots, and block parties claim space—marking the presence of the communities wilfully neglected by those in power.
Two panels

Learning from Atlantic Yards / Pacific Park
Wed, Oct 4, 2017, 6:30 - 8 pm
The Skylight Room, The Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Avenue, 9100
A major urban development project can be quickly absorbed into the daily fabric of a city like New York. Such projects are happening on a massive scale and at a rapid pace in cities around the world; yet, fundamental, significant questions remain about the processes that unfold from the approval of a plan to the ongoing life of a project, including continuing implications for residents, businesses, schools, and other infrastructure. Such changes have profound long-term effects, and, in the case of Atlantic Yards / Pacific Park in Brooklyn, include construction that will affect multiple generations. This panel discussion with representatives of local government, experts involved in the project, journalists who continue to write about it, and non-profit advocacy groups will open a forum for discussion about what has been learned and what still needs action in the Atlantic Yards / Pacific Park Project in Brooklyn. Featuring Susan Lerner, Norman Oder, Robert Perris, and others.
Note: Susan Lerner heads Common Cause/NY and lives in Fort Greene. Robert Perris is the District Manager of Community Board 2, which includes part of the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park footprint. We'll see who else is added.

Unintentional Community, from Shared Experience to Action
Wed, Sep 27, 2017, 6:30-8 pm, The James Gallery, The Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Avenue, First Floor.
A major urban transition right in one’s own backyard can bring together, or conversely divide, a community, throwing light on the question of what makes a group of people a community. When living standards, livelihoods, access to financial, educational, and other resources are on the line, how a community responds depends on factors that are intangible and powerful. Join community members affected by Atlantic Yards / Pacific Park, including from the Dean Street Block Association, for a conversation about how they have mobilized responses for over a decade and continue to build long-term structural change to benefit the community. Featuring Peter Krashes, Director of Pratt Institute M.S. in Sustainable Environmental Systems, Jaime Stein, and others
Note: Stein is the most active member of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC), the state subsidiary set up since 2015 to advise on project oversight, but which has had relatively little impact because of limited power and don't-rock-the-boat members.


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