Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thursday Evening in Fort Greene: Opening Reception for "The Gentrification of Brooklyn: The Pink Elephant Speaks" at MoCADA

Although lots of real reporters and professional photographers and video cameras from NY1 and other places were there, and no doubt you can find more intelligent commentary and journalism of this event elsewhere, we were privileged to be on hand for at least a little while at this evening's very crowded opening reception for "The Gentrification of Brooklyn: The Pink Elephant Speaks," a long-awaited exhibition of the work of twenty artists.

Curated by Dexter Wimberly, this is the art show people will be talking about for a long time, and all we can say now is that we are going to return to MoCADA - the wonderful Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts on Hanson Place in Fort Greene - again and probably again to really take it all in when, hopefully, there won't be as many Brooklyn art lovers (and movers and shakers) around. We may have a long wait.

Already there's been coverage at The Daily News, The Brooklyn Paper, The Brooklyn Rail, the visual arts forum Daily Serving, The L Magazine, The Kings Courier, and other mainstream media outlets that we can't duplicate.

As the promotional material notes, "The Gentrification of Brooklyn: The Pink Elephant Speaks"
will examine how urban planning, eminent domain, and real estate development are affecting Brooklyn’s communities and how residents throughout the borough are responding.

The exhibition will include the works of several Brooklyn-based artists, as well as those who have been forced to relocate as a result of gentrification. In addition to works of art featured at MoCADA, there will be a schedule of public programs taking place throughout Brooklyn.

In addition, there will be a vignette of work on display from two local high schools (The Brooklyn Community Arts and Media High School and The Secondary School for Research) where students have been documenting the impact of gentrification on their neighborhoods over the past few years through photos and essays.

You don't need us to tell you what the incredibly gifted MoCADA director Laurie Cumbo (always an amazing presence keeping the annual Fort Greene Summer Literary Festival together), can when you see her on NY1.

You can see better representations of the fine work of the artists involved - Josh Bricker, Oasa DuVerney, Irondale Ensemble, Zachary Fabri, Michael Premo / Rachel Falcone, Nathan Kensinger, Jess Levey, Christina Massey, MUSA, Tim Okamura, Kip Omalade, John Perry, Adele Pham, Gabriel Reese, Marie Roberts, Ali Santana, Monique Schubert, Alexandria Smith, Sarah Nelson Wright - elsewhere on the Web, or better yet, close up at MoCADA.

All we'll do is tell you that even amid the crowds (and food and music and talks we had a hard time hearing), we were tremendously excited and energized by our first look at "The Gentrification of Brooklyn," just hours after the last works of art were put in place (according to what we heard Laurie Cumbo tell someone).

"Now is a good time for this show," curator Dexter Wimberly, who lives in Fort Greene, told the media. "Brooklyn is becoming so homogenized." See the show before Brooklyn becomes pasteurized too.

You've got until May 16, with lots of special events between now and then.

The pink elephant has spoken.

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