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Art Hearts: Daughters of Mercury + Pieces of Women + Liar, Liar Art’s on Fire

(Image via Sharon Spell)

(Image via Sharon Spell)

Close Hamm
Opening Monday August 15,  7 pm to 9 pm at ROOQ Fine Arts and Framing. On view through January 17.

Artist Sharon Spell seems to have each one of her hands equally in art and comedy: she’s worked with UCB since 2007, performs at The Moth, and has illustrated comic strips for the freaky people at The Onion, just to name a few bits from her resume. These two worlds unite in her “Close Hamm” diptychs– paintings depicting two distinct people joined together to create one image, much like the fine art of balance an improv-comedy duo’s always aiming for.

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Escaping Time Proves Pruno’s Not the Only thing Handcrafted with Pride in Prison

(Flyer via "Escaping Time")

(Flyer via “Escaping Time”)

Governors Island is more than just another out-of-the-way-ish New York City nook. After years of abandonment, the island’s only recently embarked on a steady climb towards reclamation and it remains largely stuck in the past, having missed out on years of the progress seen by the rest of the city while interned as an exclusive home for military officers, then a coast guard haven, before it was abandoned altogether in 1996, left to hang in an off-limits sort of limbo, with nature serving as its only developer.

Fresh off the ferry, you might be only 800 yards from Lower Manhattan, but as you make your way inland, the Manhattan skyline starts to disappear, obscured by the super old Fort Jay, untrimmed trees, shrubs, and rolling grassy hills. The sirens fade into the background too, and time itself seems to slow down.

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Mourning Palisades? Try Sunnyvale’s Sunny Sunday Festival

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(Flyer via Sunnyvale)

East Williamsburg’s “DIY-gone-legit” spot Sunnyvale is pulling out all the stops this Sunday—all the lady stops, that is. Their daylong festival, serving as the launch event for new “inclusive community” Brooklyn Women in the Arts, will feature ten bands, two stand-up comics, and two art installations for a solid fourteen individual doses of art to brighten up your Sunday. It’s probably healthier than plying yourself with fourteen individual doses of something else. Hey, it’s cool– everyone’s got their hangover cure!

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Performance Picks: Harsh Noise Videos IRL, LOL Sadism, and Theatre Ina Garden

THURSDAY

(via Housing Works)

(via Housing Works)

Loose: A Comedy Show
August 11, 7 pm at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe: $10. 

The always-effervescent Jo Firestone hosts this monthly evening of chuckles at the equally warmhearted Housing Works. But Firestone’s no ordinary comedy show host, no siree– she’s the brains behind ventures like Punderdome 3000, that oh-so-thrilling pun contest that’s either your worst nightmare or best dream come true.

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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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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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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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Fiona Apple’s Baddest Video, ‘Criminal’ Turns 20 and Gets a Queer Tribute

If you were even a slightly sentient being in the ’90s, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you can sing along with most or maybe even all of Fiona Apple’s “Criminal”– it’s the kind of song that sticks with you forever, with its piano bang-bangs, a sing-along ready chorus that swings from shrill highs to lowest lows. The song even shares its opening line (“I’ve been a bad, bad girl”) with an old prison blues song. We’re a long way from 1996, when “Criminal,” Apple’s hit single and award-winning music video dropped (20 years ago, almost to the date), but it still vibrates with the same fiery angst, tight-fisted rebellion and, yes, youthful sexual energy the day that it premiered.

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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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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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Week in Shows: Noise-Techno Hybrids Inducing Aural Nerve Destruction + Ice Cold R&B

(Image via Issue Project Room/ Pioneer Works)

(Image via Issue Project Room/ Pioneer Works)

Daniel Menche, Container, MV Carbon, Eartheater, Greg Fox, Ben Vida, Horse Lords, Profligate
Saturday, July 30, 5 pm at Pioneer Works: $20.
“A $20 show?” you’re probably saying doubtfully. “At Pioneer Verks no less?!” Well, yes, people– this superbly lined and fine-art surrounded setting might be an affair that’s just a tiny– ok, huge– step up from your usual scum-dwelling listening experience and therefore cooking up some wallet anxiety in you, but stay with me for a moment. For an Issue Project Room affair especially, we’re talking about a steal right here. Maybe more convincing for money flinging is the lineup, which is damn close to overflowing and replete with some of the best artists out there right now doing danceable, shapely noise-techno, including Profligate, and Eartheater.

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