This year, my school announced my grade’s outdoor ed trip would be visiting Governors Island. At first, I found it funny that our outdoor ed trip was still within the boundaries of NYC. Actually going there though, I found it to be a pretty cool place. If I didn’t look notice the water encompassing either side of me, Governors Island could Stars Hollow’s doppelganger. Plus, I’ve also decided that a college should take over the island so I can eventually go to school there. It would be the perfect mix of campus and city life, as I’d be just a ferry ride away from Manhattan! So NYU, can you please get on this?
Beforehand, I didn’t know much about Governor’s Island other than, um, She & Him had performed there. One of the main attractions of Governors Island is all of the tandem bikes that are available for rent. My friends and I took a 4-person bike around the island until we stumbled upon a string of buildings that had signs for the Governors Island Arts Fair. Evidently, as I am writing this, I just remembered that the fair ended its season today.
The program, started by 4Heads Collective, was inaugurated in 2008 as a way to gentrify unused spaces in New York, by filling the empty space with works that celebrate over 100 independent artists from around the world. Each artist who is a participant of the program is given their own room to fill in one of the buildings in the Building 12 compound, where the arts fair takes place. I wish I had brought my camera and worn something cute for the photo-op, but I assumed I was just going to be doing nature- outdoor education activities---so, impromptu cell phone camera shots in my leggings it was! Who knew Governors Island was fostering some of the coolest artists ever?
There were so many things to see that I couldn’t share it all, let alone, I didn’t have enough memory space on my cell phone to take enough pictures. Some things of note: there was a room filled with wax body parts, a Dia de Los Muertos shrine/party room, a room filled entirely with trash sculptures, loads of different mixed media components where you could interact with different videos. Basically, if I was Editor-in-Chief of a magazine (as I hope to someday be), I would get my butt over to Governors Island and do an entire fashion editorial in the different rooms of the arts fair. But Anna, if you steal my idea for Vogue I’ll be really pissed…
I actually squealed when I turned the corner and saw this colorful room. It was PERFECT. The room is designed by The Lower Eastside Girls Club, an organization which is devoted to providing services to girls and young women on the Lower East Side. The women behind the organization are kind of obsessed with Coney Island and attend Coney Island’s Annual Mermaid Parade, so the room combines both of these wonders. There’s obviously a very nostalgic quality to the space, but it was the only one of the rooms in the fair that actually felt like it could really be in someone’s home (in this case, a very imaginative little girl’s bedroom). I especially loved the juxtaposition of the fanciful mermaid dolls with the photographs of real women dressed up as mermaids at the parade.
The room next door to The Girls Club fantasy room was all photography by Jada Fabrizio. It was interesting seeing the two exhibits right after one another, because Jada’s work is also influenced by childhood. Even though her work seemed to take a more eerie approach, I still thought it was so beautiful. I snapped pictures of my two favorites with my phone: in the first, Jada looks inquisitively at a dollhouse, and the latter one, a woman is dressed as a child in a penguin’s mask.
While scoping out lunch, my friends and I came across this tree house that was like no tree house I had seen before. It had ornate chairs, dressers, mirrors, and even French doors within it, yet in every nook and cranny there were kitschy painted details like peace signs, kitty cats,“Ethan + Evan” forever, etc, to be found. Take me back please!!!!!
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