ArtLab Gowanus is a popup structure on the Whole Foods Esplanade that hosts monthly site-specific FREE art workshops, taught by local artists.
The “lab” is a steel-framed pop-up structure that provides flexible workspace for groups and individuals. There are built-in work surfaces, as well as storage for smaller drawing boards that participants can borrow for use in the nearby bench seating or around the neighborhood. By offering a space along the canal for site-specific art-making, this structure places value on different ways of seeing an often maligned water body and its surrounding neighborhood. It acts as a new lens along the Gowanus Canal, opening up opportunities for discovery through art and stewardship.
August Featured Artist: Katarina Jerinic
Saturday, June 17, 12:00-2:00pm
From the Canal, Found Watercolor Compositions with Suzy Kopf
Participants will be led on a 20 minute walking excursion around Whole Foods and will look for articles of post consumer waste (discarded toys, plastic remnants, objects that generally feel out of place around the Canal) as well as any organic materials that are detached from plants (twigs, leaves, fallen flowers and rocks). Once everyone has collected an object or several objects, materials will be arranged as a shared still life set up and participants will compose a picture from life using a homemade viewfinder. Suzy will demonstrate observational watercolor painting— how to sketch the composition, paint from light to dark, reserve whites and control the water media.
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Saturday, August 5, 12:00-2:00pm
In conjunction with her own cyanotype image flags flying over the Gowanus Canal this summer, Katarina Jerinic will teach participants in this workshop to make their own cyanotype prints related to the canal and surrounding neighborhood. Cyanotypes are a simple early photographic process, the reaction of chemistry to sunlight and water. Objects or film negatives are placed on chemically treated paper or fabric, exposed to sunlight, and then rinsed for a few minutes in ordinary water to develop the image. During the class, participants will explore the blocks and the park surrounding the ArtLab to gather ideas and objects for their cyanotype images, using the idea of a map or flag as a model. Back at the ArtLab, each participant will assemble collected objects and negatives provided by Jerinic into their own cyanotype image. Artists and non-artists of all skill levels can easily make a successful print using this process. Jerinic will also supply a list of materials and resources so that after the class, participants can continue to experiment with this inexpensive and simple process.
Katarina makes maps, photographs and invented navigational guides that respond to and intervene in the built environment. Recently, she has been making photographs of the surface of the Gowanus Canal, with its floating debris, mucky formations and reflections of Brooklyn skies, signs and structures. It looks cloudy, and in her upside-down cyanotype images, like a sublimely cloudy sky. Cyanotype is an early photographic process that results in a blue monochromatic image—the reaction of chemistry to sunlight and water. This process is conceptually linked to Katarina's project: it connects the canal’s polluted present to its industrial past, produces a stripped down image in the colors of idealized skies and waterways, and alludes to a historically romantic view of untouched landscapes as separate from built ones.