DUMBO Arts Festival 2014

by Clarke Wheeler

Art pieces like this and many more could be found
at the DUMBO Arts Festival!

This past weekend, the DUMBO Arts Festival returned for its 18th year of art exhibitions, installations, and performances throughout the waterfront neighborhood of DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), Brooklyn. The massive, free and public festival calls attention to Brooklyn’s role in the arts community by presenting everything from local to international art in collaboration with hundreds of artists and galleries, for thousands of visitors over three days. As soon as I heard about the festival, and read the word “free” in the description, I knew I had to see it for myself.

I went to the festival as soon as it opened on Friday evening. Having never been to DUMBO, I was amazed by the number of things to do in the area as well as the beauty of the neighborhood, particularly at the waterfront. The waterfront is gorgeous, with an incredible view of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline alongside the historic Jane’s Carousel. For pizza lovers, Grimaldi’s, the famed pizzeria, is on the way to the waterfront from the Clark Street subway stop. And for all you Gossip Girl fans (not excluding myself) DUMBO is home to Lonely Boy, Dan Humphrey!

After taking in the beauty of the neighborhood, I was excited to see some of the many art pieces that would be presented. The festival map indicated that one could find art in various locations over several blocks. Although my time constraints limited me to viewing the art in one area, I was able to see a lot in a short time. I was immediately struck by the variety of work on display; I witnessed interactive art, sculpture, video, and even a massive drawing installation being produced by the artist at the festival. The diversity of artwork, in terms of form, message, and location, was one of the most unique aspects of the festival.

Immerse yourself in art down by Manhattan Bridge!

Advice for next year’s DUMBO Arts Festival: Make a day out of it! While the festival was only open on Friday from 6-9 pm, it was open Saturday from noon until 9 pm and on Sunday from noon until 6 pm. Making a day of it would not only give you more time to see all the art, but you would have the opportunity to explore the neighborhood as well. Ride the carousel (never too old, right?), get a Jumbo slice at Grimaldi’s, which I bet could beat Koronet’s any day, and take a picture of the amazing waterfront view, which is sure to be an Instagram hit. See you at next year’s DUMBO Arts Festival!

Clarke Wheeler is a junior at Barnard and a staff writer for The Nine Ways of Knowing

Images courtesy of Clarke Wheeler.


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