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Brooklyn Utopias: Being Well

March 9, 2017, 8:00 am - April 30, 2017, 5:00 pm

Coneflowers in the gardens at OSH

Call for Submissions: Brooklyn Utopias: Being Well
A contemporary art exhibition at the Old Stone House & Washington Park

Katherine Gressel, curator
Exhibition sites:
Old Stone House Great Room, 336 3rd street (between 4th & 5th avenues), Park Slope, 2nd floor, front garden, and gardens in J.J. Byrne Playground (for public art)
Exhibition dates: August 24-October 8, 2017 (subject to slight change)


Utopia: An ideal place or state
What would an ideal (or “Utopian”) state of community health and wellness look like and how are current efforts succeeding or failing in Brooklyn and NYC?

The Old Stone House & Washington Park (OSH) seeks artist proposals for Brooklyn Utopias: Being Well, a group exhibition exploring artists’ role in defining and facilitating community health and wellness. At a time of anxiety over the future of health/senior care, the environment, and a population increasingly divided by place and race, individual and collective healing and wellness are at the forefront of many conversations. New York City is home to both innovative grassroots and policy interventions, as well as persistent inequities in these areas–along with artist activists who are engaged in these issues.

We are looking for artists and community organizations to propose artwork and events addressing the sub-themes of: environmental/food justice, physical exercise, mental health and affordable care access — especially for the sick and aging. The exhibition will also address the role of artists’ participation in promoting personal development, physical and mental health and social relationships–According to arts think tank Createquity, “Community arts activities probably contribute to the healthy living habits and improved understanding of health.”

This exhibition is part of OSH’s ongoing Brooklyn Utopias exhibit and event series, founded in 2009, in which artists, youth, activists, architects, designers and urban theorists consider differing visions of an ideal city through the “concrete” example of Brooklyn.

Projects in all media are welcome (though see “exhibit specifications” section below for specific requirements). In addition to work for the exhibit, Artists and organizations may propose temporary outdoor projects or public performances, events, and talks to be held throughout the duration of the show’s run. We welcome ideas for site specific work responding to OSH’s role as a historic house, environmental site and community gathering space, especially artist collaborations with OSH’s gardening/permaculture program. Find more information HERE.

Please email the following to Katherine Gressel, curator at katherinegressel@gmail.com, by 11:59 PST on Sunday, April 30, 2017 with the subject line “Brooklyn Utopias Submission”:

  1. Brief description (approx. 1 paragraph or 500 words) of proposed project–please address how it engages the exhibition theme!
  2. Up to 10 images/videos of the proposed project and/or related work, or send links to images/videos online. Sketches of proposed new work are ok. Please attach a work sample script explaining the content of the work samples, or link to captions online. NOTE: if you are proposing a public program/performance, please share info on any related programs/events you have previously produced.
  3. Funding request (if any): OSH is dedicated to offering at minimum a $150 honorarium for all participating artists. Additional funds may be available pending successful fundraising, especially to cover materials/transport costs for new and site specific work.
  4. Attach or link to artist resume or bio

Please title the email subject line with “Brooklyn Utopias Submission”

** Artists/organizations are encouraged to contact the curator in advance to discuss ideas or to arrange a studio visit, and to visit the OSH exhibition space (see below) **

The Old Stone House (OSH) is a reconstructed Dutch colonial farmhouse/historic museum located in Park Slope’s Washington Park/J.J. Byrne Playground. The playground and house restoration were first developed by Robert Moses in the 1930s, but the land surrounding the house made history long before then as the site of the 1776 Revolutionary War Battle of Brooklyn, and as a 19th Century Brooklyn Dodgers practice field.

Artists are highly encouraged to visit the Old Stone House & Washington Park and Brooklyn Utopias  websites and  to see past exhibition images.  You are welcome to contact Kim Maier, OSH Executive Director, kmaier@theoldstonehouse.org and Katherine Gressel, curator, at katherinegressel@gmail.com to make an appointment to visit the house or discuss specific installation needs.

Works will primarily be on display in OSH’s 2nd Floor Great Room gallery: OSH Second Floor Plan w Measurements

There may also be potential for site-specific work in the park outside, gardens, stairwell, or lobby.

Most work shown in the OSH Great Room must be hung from ceiling hooks on a picture rail—the wall does not accommodate nails. It is possible to hang small monitors or projectors for video installations, or a wi-fi enabled ipad for web-based displays. With some exceptions, artists are responsible for obtaining their own AV equipment.

The Great Room is a busy multi-purpose space that is used for a variety of public and private events during the show’s run.  Work must be securely hung on walls or otherwise fastened to a permanent surface in the room. There is little space for 3-dimensional work indoors, though small three- dimensional installations are sometimes possible, i.e. on windowsills, the stairway landing, small pedestals, or other furniture.

Outdoor work will be exhibited within 100 feet of the Old Stone House, and must be in keeping with Parks Department specifications for public art. Such projects should be discussed in advance with OSH Executive Director Kim Maier. Please note outdoor projects are vulnerable to both harsh weather conditions, and theft or vandalism as the park cannot provide 24-hour security.

Note: OSH is unable to insure the artwork


March 9, 2017, 8:00 am
April 30, 2017, 5:00 pm
Event Category:


March 9, 2017, 8:00 am
April 30, 2017, 5:00 pm
Event Category: