Just Do Art! April 4, 2013

Image courtesy of Eric Sanderson and WCS. What is, what was, what will be: Landscape ecologist Eric Sanderson lectures on his Mannahatta Project, on April 18.

Image courtesy of Eric Sanderson and WCS.
What is, what was, what will be: Landscape ecologist Eric Sanderson lectures on his Mannahatta Project, on April 18.

THE MANNAHATTA PROJECT In this free lecture, landscape ecologist Eric Sanderson will discuss his work at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) as well as how recent storms have impacted the Manhattan landscape. Sanderson will also talk about Manhattan’s early history — harkening back to when Henry Hudson sailed his ship, the Half Moon, up the river that now bears his name. For the past decade, Sanderson has directed The Mannahatta Project, a recreation of the ecology of Manhattan Island at the time of its European discovery in 1609. Part of the WCS’s Human Footprint initiative (which maps the human race’s impact on the surface of the earth), The Mannahatta Project has recreated a rich and diverse landscape in digital form — using new methods in geographic analysis (and a remarkable 18th-century map prepared by British Headquarters in 1782 charting Manhattan with over 70 miles of streams and at least 21 ponds).

Free. Thurs., April 18 at 1pm. At 6 River Terrace, Battery Park City (South end of River Terrace, north of the Irish Hunger Memorial). For info, visit bpcparks.org.

Photo by Scott Stiffler “Bird” is on display through April 21.

Photo by Scott Stiffler
“Bird” is on display through April 21.

WILL RYMAN’S “BIRD”  Quoth the raven, “Nevermore” — after April 21, that is. That’s the date through which artist Will Ryman’s 12-foot high, 12-foot wide, 14-foot long sculpture will roost on the Flatiron’s Public Plaza, near 23rd St. and Broadway. Made of 5,500 actual and fabricated nails (and inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”), Ryman says the work “is about changing the meaning of an object. A nail is cold. It’s hard. It is used to connect objects. But when it’s multiplied, and the scale altered, it goes from hard to soft, from menacing to approachable.”

Image courtesy of ArtQuilt Gallery and the artist Beth Carney’s work draws on her background as a dancer. See “CHAOS.”

Image courtesy of ArtQuilt Gallery and the artist
Beth Carney’s work draws on her background as a dancer. See “CHAOS.”

 CHAOS & CHASMS: A RHYTHMIC JOURNEY  | The ArtQuilt Gallery — New York City’s only gallery focused on contemporary art quilts — is putting its current focus on Beth Carney. In the exhibit “CHAOS & CHASMS: A Rhythmic Journey,” the artist displays selections informed by her background as a dancer. “I work in an improvisational manner,” says Carney, “exploring line, shape, color and motion to create compositions that dance.”

At The ArtQuilt Gallery (133 W. 25th St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). Open Tues.-Sat., 11am-6pm and Sun./Mon. by appointment. “CHAOS” is on view through Sat., April 13. It’s followed by Deb Hyde’s “Sunshine and Shadow,” from April 30 through June 8. For info, call 212-807-945, visit artquiltgallerynyc.com or send an email to info@artquiltgallerynyc.com.

–  BY SCOTT STIFFLER

WOMBAT THEATRE COMPANY: “NO EXIT”  Jean Paul Sartre’s “No Exit” has been a touchstone of the philosopher’s existentialist thought ever since it was first performed in Nazi-occupied Paris in 1944, spawning one of Sartre’s most famous (and perhaps misinterpreted) quotes: “Hell is other people.” Now, Wombat Theatre is staging the play — which centers on three dead people who are spending an eternal afterlife together in a single room — by taking it out of Sartre’s original mid-century context, forcing audience members to consider his themes of soul searching, soul baring and a brutal human condition amid present-day societal struggles. The new production takes place on a stage shrouded in a circular curtain. There is no beginning and no end to the room. There are no walls. There is no time period — the sound design evokes the empty, glaring presence of a diver in a shark cage. The question is…what does forever feel like?

April 18 & 19 at 8pm, April 20 at 3pm & 8pm and April 21 at 3pm. At Roy Arias Studios, Stage 2 (Fourth Floor, 300 W. 43rd St., just west of Eighth Ave.). For tickets ($18 for evening shows, $13 for matinees), visit ovationtix.com.

—Sam Spokony

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