WILLIAMSBURG ART BASH
The exploding art scene in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn -- just across the East River from the East Village -- jumps into the fall season with "Elsewhere," Sept. 23-24, a weekend-long opening fest coordinated by 32 galleries in the area and in neighboring Greenpoint. The largely Polish, Puerto Rican and Italian section has been a favorite with artists for over 15 years, and has recently reached a kind of bohemian critical mass with its collection of ultra-hip bars and quirky restaurants. "Elsewhere" is organized by local gallerists Joe Amrhein of Pierogi, Eric Heist of Momenta Art, Reneé Riccardo of Arena@Feed and Chirstian Viveros-Fauné of Roebling Hall. The bash features free shuttle buses and a number of events at the galleries, which will be open from noon to 8 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. For a detailed map, consult the "Elsewhere" website.
Among the highlights:
Kim Kimball at Pierogi, Sept. 8-Oct. 9
Omer Fast and Akiko Ichikawa at Momenta Art, Sept. 10-Oct. 16, and a performance series curated by Fritz Welch, Sept. 23 and 24
Min Kim at Bellwether, Sept. 10-Oct. 29
"Me and My Friends" group show at 57 Hope, Sept. 15-Oct. 8
Cotter Luppi and Rande Barke at Arena@Feed, Sept. 16-Oct. 29
Fritz Chestnut, Christine Schiulli and Andrew Nofsigner at 31 Grand, Sept. 16-Oct. 31.
Other galleries in the ever-growing roster include Brooklyn Fire Proof, Cave, Eyewash, Figureworks, Fish Tank, Flame, Flipside, Four Walls, Four 1/2 Projects, Front Room, FUNY-Video Sopbox, Goliath, Holland Tunnel, Im N Il, Keyson Gallery, Magnifik, Monk Gallery, Parker's Box, Rome Arts, Sideshow, 65 Hope Ceramic Arts, Star 67, the State of Art, Studio Facchetti and the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center.
Also watch (and listen) for artist Reed Anderson's customized Kool Man ice cream truck making the rounds through the weekend.
DEITCH DOUBLY FASHIONABLE
SoHo dealer Jeffrey Deitch is spreading himself thin -- at least when it comes to fashion magazines -- hosting parties for rivals Elle Magazine and Harper's Bazaar within a week of each other, reveals Inside.com. Elle is celebrating its 15th anniversary in the U.S. tonight at Deitch Projects space on Wooster Street in SoHo, which is currently displaying photographs by Gilles Bensimon, the mag's publications director whose eye for pulchritude made the title so hot in the roaring '80s. On the following Thursday, Deitch hosts Harper's bash at Lot 61 on West 21st Street in Chelsea, where a silent auction is being held featuring works from the gallery's stable, following a profile of the hip young dealer in the glossy's September issue.
BRIT AUCTION HOUSES MERGE
The reconfiguration of the staid auction world continues with the announced merger of two British auctioneers, Bonhams and Brooks, who announced a deal yesterday that will turn them into the world's fourth largest auction house. The move provides much-needed cash and six overseas offices for Bonhams, while the younger Brooks gets the reputation of an auction house founded in 1793.
OURSLER IN THE PARK Target Stores, the budget-conscious retailer with the witty ad campaign, doesn't have a store in Manhattan -- but it has given a $1-million grant for public art in the city as part of "Target Art in the Park," a three-year project at Madison Square Park (near the Flatiron Building at Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street) organized by the Public Art Fund. Assorted dignitaries and press were on hand Sept. 12 for a preview of the inaugural project by video-installation artist Tony Oursler, whose night-time exhibition The Influence Machine features talking trees, a speaking street lamp and projected images of talking heads moving like searchlights over the park and onto clouds of smoke. The work goes on public view Oct. 19-31, 2000.
SMITHSONIAN SETS ATTENDANCE AND FUNDRAISING RECORDS
The Smithsonian Institution has set records for attendance and fundraising, according to its yearly fiscal report. Overall attendance to its Washington, D.C., and New York facilities for the first eight months of 2000 totaled 26.1 million, compared to 23.5 million for the same period in 1999. In addition, the Smithsonian reports that it has raised nearly $200 million in private funds this year, 36 percent more than last year's $147 million. The Smithsonian's endowment is close to a record $755 million, an increase of $200 million from two years ago. Next in the agenda is a fundraising drive to come up with $500 million to rehabilitate its many buildings.
SHORTLIST OF FOUR ARCHITECTS FOR WADSWORTH ATHENEUM
The Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Conn., has drawn up a shortlist of four design architects for its renovation and expansion program. The semifinalists, chosen by a museum committee from more than 50 candidates, are Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos of Amsterdam, Brad Cloepfil of Portland, Ore., Zaha Hadid from London and Morphosis of Santa Monica, Ca. The designers will speak in "Architecture and the New Museum: A Forum for the Future," moderated by Terence Riley, chief curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art, at the Wadsworth on Oct. 6. Admission is free but reservations are required; call (860) 278-2670, ext. 3112.
MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR JACOB LAWRENCE
The late African-American modernist Jacob Lawrence is being honored at a memorial service at Riverside Church in New York City on Sept. 28. The service, open to the public, starts at 4:30 p.m. and is followed by a reception. Call (617) 367-5044 for more information.
JOHN FREDERICK KENSETT CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ Babcock Galleries director John Driscoll has announced the preparation of the first catalogue raisonné of the works of 19th-century American landscape painter John Frederick Kensett. Anyone with information about the artist or wishing to have paintings considered for inclusion can write to curator Huntley Eikenburg at Babcock Galleries, 724 Fifth Ave., 11th Floor, New York City 10019.
Online appraisal service Eppraisals.com has introduced a free electronic newsletter featuring news and features about current issues affecting the art and antiques worlds. To subscribe, visit the website's new member page.
NORA YORK ONLINE
Art chanteuse Nora York has launched her own website -- at www.norayork.com, of course -- featuring MP3s of new work. Originally a presence in the Lower East Side's legendary performance art circuit of the mid 1980s, York is now well known as a jazz vocalist. See her in the actual world on Oct. 3 at Makor, 35 West 67th St. at 7 p.m. Call (212) 601-1000 for reservations.