Ever folded paper like a boat, put it in your bathtub, and watched it sink faster than updating your status with “yeah I made a boat”? Well you may never be good at origami, but you may still have a chance to create something that floats or at least learn about things that float. EFA Project Space, Flux Factory and The Gowanus Studio Space present SeaWorthy, a series of exhibits about boats, boat art, boat stuff, and boat like things (which might be called boats). Seaworthy has got it all: an exhibit, a workshop where you can learn to build boats, and an actually voyage when you can hone your inner pirate skills. In particular we highly suggest you check out Part II of Seaworthy where, in addition to learning how to actually build a seaworthy craft, you can learn boat lettering with Laurie Churchman and Lisa Hutchinson. Also, you should work on your paper hat and your ‘RRRhh! Pirate Jokes’ (example: which train do pirates ride? the “RRRRRRhhh” train!) Check out the details below of this shiptastic presentation / viewing / workshop / event thingy:

Part I:
Exhibition on view at EFA Project Space:
Exhibition Dates: June 10 – July 29, 2011

Part II:
Workshops at Gowanus Studio Space:
May through August.

Part III:
Public Voyages brought to you by Flux
Factory: All Summer Long.

EFA Project Space, Flux Factory and The Gowanus Studio Space present SeaWorthy, an exhibition and series of public screenings, performances, lectures, workshops and artist-led excursions on the water. With 72 islands and over 700 miles of coastline, New York City is a formidable archipelago. SeaWorthy will invite discussion of issues surrounding water access and use, activate the largest open space in the city, and engage with relevant themes in contemporary art practice. SeaWorthy will bring together artists from here and abroad – in consultation with boatbuilders, world-class mariners, historians, writers, activists and ecologists – to make new work about, around and on the waterways of New York City in Summer 2011.

Seaworthy presents work by artists who employ the boat as a platform for collective action, private reflection and liberatory possibility. The sea voyage suggests both an opening and a crisis – the expanse is daunting, uncontrollable, and full of dream potential. To explore this terrain, the artists in SeaWorthy take to the high and low seas, actually, metaphorically, and virtually. More information about SeaWorthy exhibitions, workshops, public performances and voyages can be found on the exhibition website: www.SeaworthyNYC.org

Participating Artists Include: Michael Arcega; Rachel Bacon; Gabriela Basterra, Andy Bichlbaum & Jeff Day; Jimbo Blachly & Lytle Shaw; George Boorujy; Laurie Churchman; Adriane Colburn; Heather Dewey-Hagborg & Thomas Dexter; Meredith Drum & Rachel Stevens; Amze Emmons; Drew Feuer & Eleanor Lovinsky; F.M.S.N.Y. (Heather Wood, Patty West, Joy Bennett, Chris Koldewey); Jason Gandy; Richard Haley; Crystal Heiden; Constance Hockaday; Haley Hughes; Shawna Johnson; Jonathan Kaiser; Adam Katzman; Marie Lorenz; Mary Mattingly; Nick Normal; Ciaran O’Dochartaigh; Anne Percoco; Natalia Porter; Duke Riley; Jessica Segall; Reid Stowe; Swimming Cities; A’yen Tran; Hui-Min Tsen; Emmett Walsh; Ian Warren; Brindalyn Webster; Charles Westfall; and Chin Chih Yang.

Curatorial Advisory Committee: Jean Barberis, Benjamin Cohen, Dylan Gauthier, Michelle Levy, Georgia Muenster, Kendra Sullivan, and Sally Szwed.

SeaWorthy: www.seaworthyNYC.org
EFA Project Space: www.efanyc.org
Flux Factory: www.FluxFactory.org
The Gowanus Studio Space: www.GowanusStudio.org

SeaWorthy: An Exhibition
EFA Project Space
June 10 – July 29, 2011

Opening Reception: June 10, 2011, 6 – 9 pm

EFA Project Space presents an exhibition featuring artists who approach water navigation as subject, pushing its potential as a mutable open platform for social experimentation as well as metaphor for personal, artistic, and collective freedom. The show includes installations, models, prints, drawings, photos, videos, and various other musings by artist-seafarers who generously impart their experience of the sea in order to refresh our perception of the land.

Some highlights include:

  • Documentation of Anne Percoco’s intricate Kilmer Shrines, monuments constructed to honor the sites of some of the under-appreciated drainage systems of New Jersey.
  • A full-scale print by artist/ boat-builder, and Tide and Current Taxi creator Marie Lorenz, who combs the shores of NYC for abandoned, for a washed-up boat to commemorate by inking and printing in the style of Japanese fish prints;
  • Illustrated plans of Amze Emmons’s fantasy purchase of the de-commissioned British aircraft carrier that he, proposes to convert to a community for climate refugees;
  • And Jonathan Kaiser’s Janet II, a personal, portable vessel crafted from refuse including disassembled chairs and hundreds of plastic grocery bags that has transported the artist along foreign waterways, and exists in the exhibition as a visual artifact of the artist’s travels as well as of the existing potential in everyday refuse.

EFA Project Space, a program of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, is located at 323 West 39th Street, 2nd floor, NYC.

SeaWorthy: Workshops
The Gowanus Studio Space
May through July, 2011

The Gowanus Studio Space is proud to host a series of workshops on boatbuilding, maritime activities, and nautical culture. The motivations, fantasies, and processes before a boat is built and used are specific to this genre of fabrication. While the exhibition’s arching themes use the boat as a metaphor and platform for freedom, the yearning for these freedoms are bred early on in the planning
and building stages of these craft.

Workshop highlights include:

  • Artist Natalia Porter leads a Traditional Mexican Trajinera Building Workshop in partnership with architecture students in Xochimilco. Once the emblematic Mexican watercraft is designed, built and launched, it will host a week of floating dinner discussions on topics ranging from immigration to Mexican Artists in the U.S. and more.
  • Shrines of the Gowanus Canal, with artist Anne Percoco, will guide participants to convert an old boat into a mobile shrine, constructed from primarily scrap material, that will then embark on a pilgrimage along the unique landscape of the now EPA Superfund site of the Gowanus Canal.
  • Laurie Churchman + Lisa Hutchinson lead a History and Design of Boat Names, and Boat Lettering Workshop, exploring the cultural history behind personal branding choices in design and typography of names lettered on pleasure crafts. Selections taken from Churchman’s book: BOATNAMES, chronicle from boat lettering from Egyptian times to the present, while boat-letterer Hutchinson gives hands on experience with sign and boat-lettering techniques.
  • Mare Liberum lead Shipwrecked, Shanghai’d and Marooned: A Plywood Fleet for New York City The freeform boatbuilding collective based in Gowanus finds its roots in centuries-old stories of urban water squatters and haphazard water craft builders. They are building a fleet of boats based on the historic 15′ Banks Dory and this workshop will craft boats with frames that can be built over in a single afternoon using minimal tools and basic building skills.

Sea Worthy: Public Voyages
Flux Factory
July-August, 2011

Flux Factory invites the public to sail off on expeditions exploring the waterways of New York on a fleet of seaworthy boats built specially for this project. Ranging from short expeditions to weekend extravaganzas, our voyages aim to educate the general public about the city’s waterways: a formative but easily overlooked part of our experience as city-dwellers.

Events include:

  • Hotel Ms. Nancy. Constance Hockaday will build a floating hotel in the Neutrino tradition, that is, with reclaimed and scrap materials, to be moored at Marina 59 in the Rockaways. The raft will be open for weekend getaways, complete with fresh flowers and vacancy sign, along with a composting outhouse raft. The artist will also present a site-specific performative lecture.
  • Eco-Activist Sailing Tours Gabriela Basterra, Andy Bichlbaum, and Jeff Day present “Eco-Activist Sailing Tours,” explorations of the coast of New York City aboard the Alalba, a lovingly restored 50-foot ketch. Join us for day trips documenting the public ports of the city.
  • Procession for Immediate Certainty. Artist and boat-builder Jessica Segall will launch her handmade Norwegian faering in a procession across Manhattan to the East River to sail to Queens. The launch will be accompanied by live music and the release