Visiting The DUMBO Arts Center

Eugene Hutz jumping in off the street to join The Stumblebum Brass Band's performance at the Dumbo Arts Festival in 2010. Perfect Brooklyn moment. Photo by Grishna Levit

Eugene Hutz jumping in off the street to join The Stumblebum Brass Band’s performance at the Dumbo Arts Festival in 2010. Perfect Brooklyn moment. Photo by Grishna Levit

The DUMBO Arts Center is an art gallery situated between Plymouth and Water Streets in Brooklyn, New York City. The center covers 3,000 square feet and it features lectures, workshops and contemporary art exhibitions. The goals of this non-profit organization is to promote the new art in Dumbo, a neighborhood of Brooklyn, and to catalyze the interaction among the wider public, the local community and the visual artists. Throughout the year, the DUMBO Arts Center features numerous exhibitions and offers educational programs for high school students and artists.

This art center was founded in 1997 after the “DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival.” A couple of artists took the initiative to open Dumbo’s first non-profit artistic institution. Since 1998, DAC (DUMBO Arts Center) has organized the DUMBO Arts Festival on a yearly basis. This festivity is in fact the main focus of DUMBO Arts Center. The event gathers numerous artists from all over the world and presents the best international, national and local art. The festival attracts media attention and numerous visitors and has managed to make Dumbo a real cultural destination.

More than 200,000 participants and visitors come to the DUMBO Arts Festival every year. Additionally, the show features more than 100 programming partners, 500 artists, 50 stages and galleries and 100 studios. The festival usually takes place in September, it lasts 3 days and it’s organized on various sites. The tourists and locals have the chance to see and admire circus artists, indoor and outdoor exhibitions and visual art installations, performers, digital art, poets, large scale projections, dancers, artistic studios and musicians. People can see all these in the park, on street corners and throughout the entire neighborhood.

Besides the DUMBO Arts Festival, DAC also organizes and hosts numerous other events and programs. The current exhibition at DAC is called “What if? In the Days When the Tiger Smoked” and it’s presented by Darrin Martin and Torsten Zenas Burns. This project is meant to offer a new perspective over the superheroes in the book The Vision and The Scarlet Witch. The exhibit includes interactive sculpture, videos, graphic work and photographs. Another special event is the Artist Opportunity Workshop. This lasts 2 days and includes various workshops hosted by Man Bartlett and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. Also, Our Good is going to organize a Live Barter show. The portfolios of the participants will be reviewed by gallery owners, artists and curators.

DUMBO Arts Center also has a high school intensive program taking place during the summer, from July till August. The students will have the chance to indulge in a special learning opportunity involving arts administration, community involvement and art-making. Lastly, there is the Outer Space project. In 2007, the artists created the Third Bridge between Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. The bridge was made from thousands of lights and it was a metaphor for unity. The Third Bridge was removed in 2008 and it showed that the artists and the people in general want to link to strong concepts like achievement and ambition. So, whoever wants to adopt these ideas should pay a visit to DUMBO Arts Center.

WORDS: Ioana. Ioana is an art enthusiast that travels the world, staying in rental apartments, looking for engaging events that will help boarded her travel experiences.

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