About Cassidy Dawn Graves

Contact: cassidydawngraves@gmail.com / Twitter: @malegazegraves

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Art Hearts: Beach Party in the City, Sunshine Ruins, and Bye Bye in Bed-Stuy

Peyton Freiman, "JFK was a Realist," 2015. Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Canvas, 6 x 3.5 inch. (image via Shin Gallery)

Peyton Freiman’s “JFK was a Realist,” 2015 (Image courtesy of Shin Gallery)

Long Gone and Missing
Opening Wednesday August 1, 7 pm to 9 pm at Shin Gallery. On view through September 10. 

Imagine a beach on the Lower East Side. Now imagine that beach stuffed inside an art gallery. Some might call it crazy, but this wacky dream will become reality at the opening of Peyton Freiman’s solo show, Long Gone and Missing. The Brooklyn-based artist (who also recently showed a piece in loft-gallery Club 157’s first group show) will transform Shin Gallery into a “veritable beach playground” filled with his colorful mixed media works on paper.

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Pizza Historian and Pie Slingers Dish Out Their Personal Slice of Culinary History

(Image via Evan Weiner/ Pizza)

An image from Scott Wiener’s “Brooklyn Pizza: the Search for Authenticity” (Photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

These days, small-time food operations– specialty mayonnaise stores, gourmet dog treat bakeries–  especially those on-the-pulse in trendy neighborhoods, seem to come and go quickly as say, nipple photos disappear from Instagram. Restaurants concepts grow tired, indie ventures can’t afford their rent, local faves raise their prices after media feeding frenzies blow up their latest dessert… the list goes on. Sometimes it can seem like there’s no hope for the lil shops selling classics anymore. But, there is hope for pizza. There is always hope for pizza.

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Spread Your Creative Wings: Two Fly Chances to Have Your Art Seen in the EV

Ideal Glass mural "Every Mother's Son" by Sophia Dawson, featuring portraits of mothers who have lost children by way of police brutality. (image via Sam Jablon)

Ideal Glass mural “Every Mother’s Son” by Sophia Dawson, featuring portraits of mothers who have lost children by way of police brutality. (Image courtesy of Ideal Glass)

Whatever medium you work in, it’s hard to be an artist. Barely anyone pays attention to anything you do, so keeping self-motivated can be tricky when you’re consistently weary from day jobs, keeping track of your 1099s and W9s, and closing down that bar you performed at to ensure you grip that sparse handful of wrinkly cash you so rightfully deserve. In the midst of all this noise, it’s easy for all those half-baked ideas to slip into some dark, far-away box at the back of your mind, and potentially never see the light of day.

Luckily, there are some folks out there who are willing to nudge you in the direction of productivity. Here are two upcoming opportunities to inspire artists, both visual and performance types, to get out there and do their thing.

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Performance Picks: Dancing Comedians, Personhood Through Puns, Interactive Foreplay

WEDNESDAY
(via Facebook)

(via Facebook)

Nationals: An Amateur Adult Dance Comedy Tournament
At UCB Chelsea, 307 W 26th Street, Chelsea. 11pm. $5. More info here.
Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney host this four-month-long wild n’ wacky dance competition where the goal is not to dance in the prettiest way or for the longest time, but rather whose dancin’ feet make for the most chuckles. Sure, you can argue that many dance competitions run the risk of being unintentionally comedic already, but just imagine a dance competition where everything is supposed to be funny. Will there be technically skilled, tightly-crafted pieces using formal dance moves to inspire laughter? Probably not, because the teams are mostly made up of comedians. But you never know– there could be some surprises. Competitors include a team of two, a team of almost 10, and comedian Annie Donley (The Annoyance, SOAP’s Messy Backyard Show) going at it solo. And rest assured, whatever happens, a star WILL be born.

 

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Get Sugared Up On National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, This Thursday

(image courtesy of Doubletree by Hilton)

(image courtesy of Doubletree by Hilton)

Did you know this Thursday is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day? It might get a little confusing, as National Chocolate Chip (sans cookie) Day is May 15 and National Cookie Day is December 4, but rest assured there’s also a day specifically for these classic treats.

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Nacho Average Opening: Associated Gallery’s Pop-Up Show Was Cheesy in the Best Way

(photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

(photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

Walking into an art gallery opening, you aren’t normally greeted with the smell of sweat and ketchup while men in flannel stare at still-life paintings, holding a Big Mac in one hand and a Coors Light in the other. The burger was snatched from a towering shrinelike art piece and the ketchup was dripping steadily from a fountain. But this isn’t an ordinary show, and the folks behind it aren’t an ordinary gallery.

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Art Openings: Pins N’ Patches, Cheap Art, Magazines IRL

(via Strike Gently Co / Facebook)

(via Strike Gently Co / Facebook)

The Pin and Patch Show
Tuesday, August 2 at Chinatown Soup, 16 Orchard Street, Chinatown. Opening reception 6-9pm, show on view through August 9. More info here. 
Gallery and art space Chinatown Soup will host this event that’s part art show, part pop-up shop showcasing the work of 10 local companies who make pins and patches. Don’t expect vintage band logos or anything of that sort, as this is a show of new, original work by artists. The first 50 who come to the opening will receive a free pin or patch from Strike Gently Co., and free PBR will be a-flowing. Get there feeling eager, and leave full of beer with a slew of cool new accessories for your denim vest, tote bag, or whatever you’d like.

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Coming Up: Nacho Cheese in a Chocolate Fountain and 3 Other Things in Unexpected Places

Sometimes it can get a little old going to the same bars, galleries, shows, knowing the kind of stuff you’ll see there. So, shake it up with…

A live band at karaoke:

(image via Be Yourself / Facebook)

(image via Be Yourself / Facebook)

Be Yourself Karaoke!
Saturday, July 30 at Cake Shop, 152 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side. Doors at 8pm, music at 9pm. $10. More info here.
Karaoke is always a fun choice (I’m aware many would disagree) but karaoke backing tracks can often be in weird keys and sound like an early 2000s MIDI version of the song you actually wanted to sing. That’s all about to change with Be Yourself Karaoke, a live band that specifically plays ’90s/early 2000s emo and pop-punk songs with audience members as the lead singer. The setlist of songs to choose from is much less overwhelming than those huge karaoke binders and includes hits from Yellowcard, Fall Out Boy, Say Anything, Good Charlotte, and more. Yes, that means you too can relive that dream of bopping around your bedroom yelling to MCR while wearing too much eyeliner, only this time you’ll have a microphone and a stage.

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Take a Blotter of Free Verse at the New York Poetry Fest On Governors Island

(photo: Robert Ramirez)

(photo: Robert Ramirez)

Get those snappin’ fingers ready:

the annual New York City Poetry Festival

is coming soon,

a wordy way

to spend an afternoon.

The festival will take place this Saturday and Sunday on Governors Island, a vibrant space for art and scenery that recently unveiled a 30-acre park with the longest slide in the city. Governors Island, home base for other sophisticated cultural events such as the Jazz Age Lawn Party, will welcome the event now for a 6th year.

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Performance Picks: Blood Pact, Black Ballet, Spooky Ghosts in the Park

(image via Marybess Pritchett)

(image via Marybess Pritchett)

WEDNESDAY
Blood Pact
Continues weekly through August 17 at The Annoyance, 367 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg. 9:30pm. $5. More info here

The school I went to didn’t really have much Greek life at all, but I can still acknowledge that fraternities and sororities provide rich material for comedy. A group of women at The Annoyance agree, and they’ve made this show to prove it. Blood Pact centers around a handful of sorority sisters who agree to regularly meet back up after school, but only during their time of the month. They describe the show as “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants meets Sex and the City meets Requiem for a Dream,” which is a combo I can’t quite imagine but trust exists somehow. Trust me, periods are so weird and complicated and interesting and crisis-inducing that there will certainly be a LOT to joke about.

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After Seven Years, a Magical Series of City Walks Hangs Up Its Laces

This Is My Worst Nightmare by Becca Blackwell (photo: Eric McNatt)

This Is My Worst Nightmare by Becca Blackwell (photo: Eric McNatt)

In the city, or in any city, streets aren’t just streets, and building aren’t just buildings. There are histories stacked on top of each other, whether they be literal populations and businesses that come and go or more personal, emotional histories. A park or a street corner is going to mean something different to everyone.

For the past few years, Elastic City has striven to crystalize this feeling into something more tangible with its series of free artist-led participatory walks in New York City and beyond. These walks take small groups (usually 12 or less) on fictional, historical, emotional journeys, such as a reenactment of coming-of-age moments that occurred at the height of the West Village’s dyke bar culture, a singalong Annie tour, or renaming and imagining a neighborhood where immigrants are celebrated. Artists like scenic designer Mimi Lien (a winner of the MacArthur “Genius Grant”), performance artist Karen Finley, activist and urbanist Nisan Haymian, among many others, have created and led walks for the series.

Today, Elastic City will wrap up their walk series for good. I chatted with Elastic City founder Todd Shalom and his longtime collaborator (and Elastic City’s Associate Artistic Director) Niegel Smith in the time they had in between conducting walks. Today, for the last several times, they’ll lead the walk they’ve created together that will serve as a finale for the series. It’s called, fittingly, The Last Walk, and takes place in Prospect Park, beginning at Grand Army Plaza.

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This Weekend, Score A Free Snow Cone And Maybe Free Full Moon Fest Tickets

(image courtesy of Fancy PR)

(image courtesy of Fancy PR)

If you haven’t noticed, it’s been hot. Sweet and icy treats can be a good way to combat this, but let’s face it. Ice cream, milkshakes, and smoothies can get expensive. Air conditioning is pricey too, and you can only hang out in chilly coffee shops for so long until you start to get grumpy stares.

Starting this Friday until August 6, the folks at music fest Full Moon Festival will be going around to various locations in the city, doling out free (yes, that’s right) snow cones. Revel in the sweet nostalgia of this simple frozen treat and and try to avoid brain freeze from crunching on ice too quickly as you seek refuge from sweat in what is really just syrup poured onto literal ice. Hey, it’s tasty. As a way of spicing up the typical snow cone fare, they’re offering a special “Blue Moon” flavor (no, not the beer) which combines pineapple and blueberry in a refreshing blend.

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