Written by Harry James Dwinell for THE ARTISTS FORUM MAGAZINE
Edited by Amos White V for THE ARTISTS FORUM, INC
Photos: Harry James Dwinell
Video: Harry James Dwinell
5 out of 5 stars
LMCC PRESENTS THE TAKE CARE SERIES AT GOVERNORS ISLAND
NEW YORK, NY (October 1, 2021) A short ferry ride with a distant view of the Statue of Liberty transports its passengers to Governors Island. To the right of the island’s port is The Arts Center at Governors Island.
Curated and presented by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), The Arts Center is an incubator for creative experimentation and a gathering space to engage in dialogue. The Take Care Series focuses on art, community, and ecology through hands-on workshops, talks, film screenings, and open studios that take you behind the scenes with LMCC’s artists-in-residence.
On August 21st, I had the pleasure to visit and experience The Take Care Series open studios event featuring 2021 LMCC artists-in-residence, participatory workshops on climate-safe futures led by The Climate Museum, and live music curated by Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The exhibits currently on view at The Arts Center feature the thought-provoking work of three international artists, Meg Webster’s Wave, Onyedika Chuke’s The Forever Museum Archive_Circa 6000BCE, and Muna Malik’s Blessing of the Boats.
Each of these works embrace and embody the mission of the series. As stated by Lili Chopra, Executive Director of Artistic Programs at LMCC, The Take Care Series asks viewers “…to look at how one cares for themself, how we care for one another, and how we care for our planet.”
There is no lack of inspiration within this series. What captivated me far more than the three exemplary international exhibits were the 17 LMCC artists-in-residence working on and showcasing their projects. Up the stairs of The Arts Center, past the multi-colored Wave exhibition, resides an expansive room composed of open studio cubicles. Each space is designated to the individual artists, presenting them with the opportunity to work, network, receive feedback and pitch their current projects. It is an intimate experience transporting viewers into the multidimensional minds of these individuals.
Chopra commented on the work of these residents stating, “It has been incredibly moving, as always, to see how [these] artists are shifting our perspective…focusing on how we can individually take action around sustainability, around equity, and resilience.” One such artist with whom I was fortunate enough to speak with was Daniel Shieh.
Sheih’s project is entitled Mothers Anthem. As I pursued the multitude of artists’ cubicles, I noticed a song playing in the distance. Following my ears, I arrived at a dance studio occupied by 20 speakers, evenly spaced, suspended from the ceiling.
I recognized the melody immediately, the American National Anthem. Yet, I could not make out the words. To my surprise and awe, each speaker played a different recording, each in a different immigrant or First Nation language. Brilliant. Approaching each isolated speaker allows participants to hear that individual language, but as one moves further away, the languages blend into a beautifully inaudible but distinct melody composed of the voices of those who are ever-present but frequently unheard.
The Arts Center is free and open to the public, now through October 31st. And, try as I have through this review, I cannot express enough the impact it had on me as an artist myself. The Take Care Series is perfect for families, couples, artists, non-artists, or individuals simply looking to be presented with a new perspective.
The final iteration of the LMCC Take Care Series will take place on October 16th. It is free and open to the public, accessible by the Governors Island Ferry. Capacity is limited. Please RSVP.
See the following links for more information about LMCC and The Arts Center’s featured artists:
Meg Webster: megwebsterstudio.com
Onyedika Chuke: onyedikachuke.com
Muna Malik: themunamalik.com
Chia-Lun Chang: chialunchang.com
Erik Bergrin: erikbergrin.com
Simon Benjamin: simonbenjamin.com
Daniel Shieh: danielshieh.com
The Take Care Series: the take care series