The New York Botanical Garden Transports Visitors to Key West

nyc orchids

Image: via

“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.” – George Santayana

In New England, each of the seasons has its own distinct, somewhat maddening identity. And while I know it’s silly to prefer one to another, as they do change so quickly, I must admit that after the winter we just endured, I am already falling hopelessly in love with spring. The sun is shining a little brighter, and there is a restored hopefulness in the air it seems. One of the best places to celebrating the coming of warm weather and urban beauty is also the best place to feel transported to a warmer climate altogether: the New York Botanical Garden.

Right now, the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) is hosting one of its most adored exhibitions, called The Orchid Show: Key West Contemporary. NYBG’sVice President for Glasshouses and Exhibitions,Francisca P. Coelho, designed this year’s Orchid Show, a beautiful display of the exotic flowers held right in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Who knew that so much thoughtful curating was necessary for a flower show?

Describes NYBG, “During The Orchid Show: Key West Contemporary, step out of the bustling city and into the Florida Keys, where the dramatic beauty of a flourishing tropical garden is amplified by vibrant architecture that recalls this particular island’s charm and ambience,” of how the conservator has been transformed to look like a modernist Key West estate garden. There is a huge amount of orchid diversity represented in the show, as well as educational programs that highlight NYBG’s commitment to Orchid conservation.

Throughout the colorful exhibition you’ll also find myriad events and activities taking place, weekend musical performances, a curated poetry walk, the NYBG’s much-loved “Orchid Evenings,” and more. Learn more about the exquisite exhibition, on view until April 21st, 2014, by visiting

Posted in art, Bronx, NYC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Annual Zine Fest Returns to Brooklyn


Later this month, the third annual Brooklyn Zine Fest returns to NYC in an “exposition of self-published magazines in the greatest borough in the greatest city in the world.” The enthusiastic zinesters and event co-creators Matt Carman and Ksenia Yarosh are proud to announce, “This third annual event will feature 150 writers, artists, and publishers from the five boroughs and beyond, including a Student Section showcasing the next generation of zine makers,” of what to expect from the highly anticipated Zine Fest.

brooklyn-zine-fest-2014-poster-1500x2000According to Carman and Yarosh, this year, the Brooklyn Zine Fest will take place over two days at the end of April, and promises to be an interactive, visually inspiring experience featuring panel discussions and zines of every shape and size to purchase or peruse, including work from Big Womyn Press, Rellie Brewer, Miniature Garden, I Love Bad Movies, and over one hundred others. The event was expanded after last year’s Fest drew in a major crowd and large number of participants, and will be held at the Brooklyn Historical Society. The Brooklyn Zine Fest is free to attend, and is open to all people of all ages.

This year’s Brooklyn Zine Fest panel topics were just announced earlier this month; the three panel discussions are titled “Queer & Trans* Zinesters,” “Collecting Zines (Libraries, Archives & Collectives),” and “Anonymity,” a panel that addresses the benefits and drawbacks of making zines for the public. Whether you’re an avid zinester and collector, or even if you’ve never even heard of a zine before, this event is sure to be fun, educational, and inspiring. Carman and Yarosh are insistent that the event be inclusive and accessible, welcoming folks of all ages and artistic (or artistically challenged) backgrounds to attend.

Head over to the Brooklyn Zine Fest’s website for more information, and to see who is exhibiting their zines this year.

3rd Annual Brooklyn Zine Fest

Saturday, April 26th and Sunday April 27th,

Brooklyn Historical Society

Posted in art, Brooklyn, NYC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The New York Philharmonic Opens Carnegie Hall’s Spring for Music Festival

Christopher Rouse

The New York Philharmonic’s Composer-in-Residence, Christopher Rouse.
Image: via


News just broke that the New York Philharmonic Orchestra will perform the opening concert during the fourth annual Spring for Music Festival at Carnegie Hall. According to Broadway World, “Music Director Alan Gilbert will conduct the New York Philharmonic in the New York Premiere of the Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence Christopher Rouse’s Requiem with baritone Jacques Imbrailo, the Westminister Symphonic Choir, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus,” on Monday, May 5th, 2014. Famed composer Christopher Rouse reportedly completed his Requiem in 2002, and this will be the first time it is performed for a New York audience. The concert will commemorate the opening night of the Spring for Music Festival, a highly anticipated event that invites orchestras from all around North America to perform.

carnegie hallEconomist, philanthropist and arts enthusiast Marie-Josée Kravis (formerly Marie-Josée Drouin) is the eponymous benefactor of the $200,000 Composer-in-Residence prize, awarded every two years to a composer who has contributed greatly to the field of new music. Since 2012, Rouse has been that composer, and is incredibly excited to be performing the piece that he describes as, “It is the best thing that I can lay claim to. It’s the work by which I would want to stand or fall.” Music Director Alan Gilbert, who has been leading the New York Philharmonic since 2009, is also incredibly excited for the performance of Rouse’s Requiem during the festival. He muses, “All of us at the New York Philharmonic know that music can transport you away from daily concerns, to create a space for contemplation and illumination,” which is what the Spring for Music Festival is all about.

This year, Spring for Music will feature orchestras from Seattle, Rochester, Cincinnati, Pittsburg, and Winnipeg, in addition to New York’s own Philharmonic Orchestra. The festival is described as a “concentrated festival of concerts by North American symphony and chamber orchestras presented annually at Carnegie Hall to broad music-loving audiences at affordable prices,” making it not only a greatly acclaimed event, but an accessible one.

Learn more about the Spring for Music Festival by visiting its official website, and be sure not to miss out on the incredible music offered at Carnegie Hall this spring!

Spring for Music Festival

May 5-10, 2014

Carnegie Hall, NYC

Posted in art, Manhattan, NYC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New York City’s Creative Time Presents ‘A Subtlety’ by Kara Walker

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 9.45.50 AMCreative Time is one of the leading forces for the creation of public arts in New York City. Since 1974, Creative Time has presented some of the most innovative, engaging art in the public realm in NYC as well as nationally and internationally. This incredible nonprofit organization has worked with more than 2,000 artists, and has helped to change the way that New Yorkers and visitors from around the world engage with their urban surroundings.

creative time nycEvery year, Creative Time presents a handful of large-scale art projects in NYC that have the power to spark conversations and reach a massive amount of people. The organization has been behind works such as Art on the Plaza, the post-9/11 Tribute in Light, and has also curated projects on the Brooklyn Bridge, in Times Square, and the High Line. The organization’s latest project features the work of Kara Walker, and will take over the inside of a Brooklyn landmark.

Explains the organization, “Creative Time is thrilled to announce that it will present the first large-scale public project by the internationally renowned Kara Walker, one of the most important artists of our era.” Walker, who is known for her room-sized tableaux of black cut-paper silhouettes that examine gender-based and racially charged contemporary American issues, will be showcasing “A Subtlety: or the Marvelous Sugar Baby.”

The site-specific installation is described as “an homage to the unpaid and overworked artisans who have refined our sweet tastes from the cane fields to the kitchens of the new world.” “A Subtlety,” located in Brooklyn’s legendary Domino Sugar Factor, will open on May 10th, 2014, and “promises to be an eye-opening experience for both those who are familiar with Walker’s work and those who are new to it.”

Learn more at

Posted in art, Brooklyn, NYC | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New York City Museums to Acquire Rauschenberg Works

rauschenberg art

Collection (Formerly Untitled), 1954-1955
Image: Wally Gobetz via Flickr CC

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation recently announced that six major American museums will acquire nine works by the legendary artist, and a handful of them are in New York City. Says Randy Kennedy for The New York Times, “for many years after his groundbreaking pieces of the 1950s and ‘60s, the art world paid a lot less attention to [Robert Rauschenberg], and several bodies of his work from the 1970s and ‘80s have remained relatively unknown to American museumgoers,” of the late-career Rauschenberg pieces that will now be brought to the forefront.

Robert Rauschenberg

Coca Cola Plan, 1958
Image: Rocor via Flickr CC

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art will soon be in possession of Rauschenberg’s works from the 1970s and 1980s, some of which the public has never seen before. MoMA in particular is happily anticipating the addition to their collection of Rauschenberg pieces from the 1950s and ‘60s, and Museum President Marie-Josee Kravis (née Marie-Josee Drouin) has promised to given another work, “Polar Glut” from 1987, to MoMA’s collection as well.

Known for his creative, groundbreaking contemporary artworks, Robert Rauschenberg has inspired countless artists in the latter half of the twentieth century and well into the present. His found object sculptures and work in cardboard has solidified his place in the modern art canon, and many mourned his 2008 death. It’s the mission of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to disperse as much of his art as possible, so it’s no surprise that some of his later works would end up in NYC’s world-renowned arts institutions.

David White, chief curator of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, says that the artist’s post-1960s work exists as a powerful demonstration of his determination to use whatever the world presented him, wherever he went. It’s nice to know that many American museums will be able to share this passion for creating art from everyday items with people from all over the world.

Read more about the works that are being donated in artlyst’s coverage of the story.

Posted in art, Manhattan, NYC | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NYC’s Public Art Offerings

Image: Garret Ziegler via Flickr CC

Image: Garret Ziegler via Flickr CC

We all made it! Spring is officially here! New York City boasts some of the most extraordinary public art displays in the world, so I suggest commemorating the occasion (and the promise of warmer weather on the horizon) with an outdoor arts excursion. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Keith Haring: Crack is Wack

This two-sided mural, created in 1986 by the legendary artist, was reportedly inspired by the drug epidemic that fell upon NYC in the late 1980s. Located in Harlem River Park, the mural was restored in 2007 and is one of the only remaining public artworks by Haring still visible in New York City today.

haring-crack-is-wackArt Underground

According to NYC-ARTS The Complete Guide, “MTA Arts for Transit was created to oversee the selection of artists and installation of permanent artworks in subway and commuter rail stations,” of the program that fosters art programs specifically for the subway. Jason Middlebrook, Tom Otterness, Bill Brand, Andrea Dezso, and Faith Ringgold are just a handful of artists that have helped make the subway a living art gallery. Check out MTA Arts for Transit to find all of the art locations.

The River That Flows Both Ways

“The River That Flows Both Ways,” a large, site-specific artwork by Spencer Finch, can be found at New York’s iconic High Line. Tucked inside the semi-enclosed former loading dock between 15th and 16th Streets (where the High Line passes through the Chelsea Market building), Finch’s beautiful installation is a must-see if you’re going to be spending time on the High Line.

These are just three of the limitless opportunities to experience free public art in NYC. There’s also the Peace Wall in Harlem, the “Joie de Vivre” and “Red Cube” in Lower Manhattan, and all of the off-the-map graffiti and mural works by artists from all over the world. I could never come close to naming all of the sculptures, murals, and installations, but I definitely encourage you to go out and explore.

What are your favorite public artworks in NYC?

Posted in art, Manhattan, NYC | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unlock (Or Dust Off) Your Inner Creativity With These Tips

Marykate Mcdevitt

“I do have to step back and realize that it is not the end of the world if it’s not perfect,” explains Brooklyn-based illustrator Mary Kate McDevitt
Image: marykatemcdevitt via Instagram


Everyone goes through periods where they experience a kind of creative block. You don’t even have to be a famous painter, sculptor, or writer to feel creatively arrested in this way. The Huffington Post recently collected a list of tips and daily habits from artists, and I think that many of them are valuable and worth sharing. Here are a handful of daily rituals and tips from artists to help you get over a creative block:

“I do have to step back, take a breather, and realize that it is just a project and not the end of the world if it’s not perfect,” explains Brooklyn-based illustrator Mary Kate McDevitt on letting go of your idea of “perfect.”

“It is when I find myself playing more than trying that I find my way out of a block,” says Aris Moore, a teacher and artist from New Hampshire, about having fun with your project.

“Don’t put barriers up that aren’t there – just get to work and make something,” suggests Portland, Oregon-based painter Lisa Golighty, who has to remind herself that she can be her own hardest critic sometimes.

“Intimacy, cocktails and music are excellent lubricants in and out of a rut,” says Peregrine Honig, an artist from Kansas City who suggests indulging in your vices when you’re feeling creatively stuck.

“I could easily go around in endless circles with myself, questioning whether or not I’m on the right track with something. I just have to stop myself, and ask for help,” explains Milwaukee-based artist Cassandra Smith about knowing when to ask for help.

Here’s one last tip from me that works perfectly whenever I’m feeling stuck: get outside, go to an art gallery, or just find anything to look at that is visually inspiring. We live in one of the most beautiful, unique cities in the world; it won’t take long to discover something remarkable to help you get over a creative block!

What are your best tips for getting out of a creative rut?

Posted in art | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment