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Tod Seelie
Tod Seelie, Raft Manhattan, 2008, announcing the "SeaWorthy" exhibition and project series in New York this summer


June 9, 2011

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New York artenthusiasts are beating the heat with two island-oriented events this weekend. Closer to the mainland is “SeaWorthy,” June 10-July 29, 2011, an exhibition at the EFA Project Space at 323 West 39th Street in West Midtown that isn't, sadly, very close to any actual water. The show opens on Friday, June 10, 6-9 pm.

But never fear -- the project has two other components that are determined to take visitors out on the waves. The Gowanus Studio Space boatbuilding workshop promises to build and launch a Mexican Trajinera -- the colorful pontoon boats of Mexico City's waterways -- as well as sail down the Gowanus Canal in a scrap-metal boat under the supervision of artist Anne Percoco.

Also part of "SeaWorthy," the Flux Factory, beginning in July, has planned "expeditions exploring the waterways of New York" in a "floating hotel" built by Constance Hokaday and a Norwegian faering -- a kind of rowboat -- handmade by Jessica Segall. And a group called Alalba Eco Tours intends to explore "the coast of New York City" aboard a restored 50-foot ketch.

Meanwhile, out on Governors Island in New York Harbor, the free FIGMENT participatory art festival, June 10-12, 2011, presents an unbelievable 400 artists enacting projects that aim to involve visitors in one way or another. Passersby, for example, are invited to play Matthew Borgatti’s mobile Anywhere Organ, constructed from recycled boxes, pipes and electronic valves, or get their portrait drawn on a matchbook by an illustrator by the name of 0H10M1ke.

Two longer-term exhibitions, the interactive FIGMENT Terrace Sculpture Garden and an artist-designed mini-golf course, opened earlier this month and are on view through Sept. 25, 2011. Run by the nonprofit Art Action League, the festival launched in New York in 2007 and has since expanded to Boston, Detroit and Jackson, Miss.

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