With a strong DIY spirit that stresses reuse, The Art Party USA launches this Friday at The Boiler in Williamsburg. A response to the Tea Party and inspired by the 1930s Works Progress Administration (WPA), the movement advocates for creative cultural innovations that can provide solutions to America's financial crisis. The event will kick off with the unveiling of artist Bob & Roberta Smith's new Gotham Golem sculptural work.
With so many economic challenges, The Art Party serves to offer peaceful alternatives that support creativity and social programs. A critical component involves incorporating resourcefulness and environmental consciousness into daily life. The group celebrates innovation that stems from sheets of blank paper and pencils.
Driven by the likes of artists such as Lee Krasner, Dorothea Lang, Ben Shahn, and Jackson Pollock who were called upon by President Roosevelt to make an imaginative cultural contribution to society, The Art Party advocates for the creation of similar programs today. Such programs could employ people who would in turn inspire society at large. As Smith explains, “[They] …didn’t restart the economy by any shape or means, but they did provide a narrative of hope and showed that art provides something worth living for.”
Bob & Roberta Smith’s work will be a central part of the opening ceremony. Smith is a London-based artist who works in a range of genres including painting, performance, music and radio broadcasts. His work is characterized by a biting sense of humor and a strong DIY spirit. The British Arts Council stated, “By combining such diverse media with the language styles of alternative protest movements, folk and punk, Bob and Roberta Smith attempts to challenge established authorities and values, and encourage creativity in people.”
The opening ceremony will include the unveiling of Smith’s Gotham Golem, a large-scale sculpture that refers to the Golem character in Jewish folklore that was brought to life in the 16th century to protect the Jews from anti-Semites. Like the original Golem, Smith’s Gotham Golem will live to protect the creative arts and launch The Art Party. The large-scale form is made from scraps of wood, found objects and cloth and will be illuminated by media projections.
Besides the sculpture, a variety of prints will also be exhibited and for sale. The limited edition prints and InstaBooks are made by the Purgatory Pie Press and are printed on old, found nautical maps using a vintage press that dates back to the 1930s. The Press relies heavily on recycled materials for their projects and each year makes a unique series of hand-bound datebooks made from found nautical maps and leather waste from New York’s fashion industry. They can currently be ordered at a reduced rate through November 19th. The event will also have live music and plenty of surprises throughout the evening to inspire creativity in all attendees. The event takes place this Friday, 11/11/11, at Pierogi Gallery’s The Boiler space at 191 North 14th St in Williamsburg from 7-9pm with a special performance happening at 8pm.
Images © Amanda Silvana Coen for Inhabitat