Monday, June 21, 2010

Scarring Our Water Art Propject to be installed on Governors Island this weekend

Scarring Our Water, a multi-media art work in progress on 6/15/2010 by Triada Samaras and Susan Handler Konvit (Completed installation images to follow next week).

THIS SUNDAY, June 27th, CORD/Coalition for Respectful Development volunteers will be joining artist/activist, Triada Samaras, a co-founder of CORD, on Governors Island to install a new art work, Scarring Our Water, co-created by Triada Samaras, and fellow community engaged artist, Susan Handler Konvit.

This is the second collaborative project for Samaras and Handler involving the toxic waters of the Gowanus Canal. (See below). Handler Konvit and Samaras created Scarring Our Water in the context of two recent events:

(1) the Superfund Designation for the Gowanus Canal by the EPA, (See NY Times)
in which CORD was very active, and committed to and supportive of the EPA plan for the comprehensive Gowanus Canal clean-up

(2) the subsequent MOMA/Museum of Modern Art/exhibition:
Rising Currents: Projects for New York City's Waterfronts, that baffled Handler Konvit and Samaras with a depiction of an idealized Gowanus Canal useage that that seemed not to take into full account the disturbing science of the actual canal water, banks, riverbed, and nearby, highly polluted lands.

Samaras and Handler Konvit co-created, "Scarring Our Water", a mixed media piece that names many of the chemicals currently contaminating our NYC waterways, including, but not limited to those found in the Gowanus Canal, and their potential, disastrous health effects.

SCARRING OUR WATER will be part of the exhibition:

"Found on Governors Island"
July 2-August 6

Six artists respond to the idea of a shipping pallet gallery by exhibiting other work made with found and recycled materials, also addressing questions of the Ideal City as related to the future and history of Governors Island. Link:

Later this summer, at Goddard College, where both Samaras and Handler Konvit are "G3" MFA/IA students, the two community-engaged artists will present a conversational workshop on brainstorming guidelines for the roles necessary for implementing community-engaged art.

Collectively these two artists have thirty-two years of practicing in community-engaged arts projects, and have received distinguished community awards, as well as extensive publicity for their efforts, including television, major and local newspapers, blogs and more.

For the past, collective seventeen years, Konvit and Samaras have been interfacing their engaged art projects with public policy-making in their local, regional, and international communities by using engaged arts practices to broach issues that affect thousands of people.

Their interdisciplinary and 'citizen-artist' efforts have included: creating engaged art works using paint, sculpture, poetry, theater, social media, new media and more; as well as attending ongoing community meetings, local political meetings, City Council meetings, and City Planning Meetings; creating petitions to send to elected officials and community leaders; meetings with elected officials on an individual basis; and most importantly, forming coalitions with numerous, other community members to deal with these complex issues on multi-tiered levels.

Since meeting at Goddard, Konvit and Samaras have collaborated on two community- engaged art projects in New York City: one, an "airborne contaminants" mask workshop with local teens. (See Toxic Gowanus Canal: Local Teens Create 'Airborne Contaminants Masks'), and the current one, Scarring Our Water.

Other links on the "Air Contaminant Masks" project with the teens at Starting Artists below:


With the "Protect Our Homes" petition, CORD was formed in May, 2007. This petition arose as an overwhelmingly negative response to the coming of the over-sized 360 Smith Street Development at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place (Aka Oliver House; aka 131 Second Place). This petition, which had well over three thousand signatures, led to a new zoning text amendment in summer of 2008.

To: Our Elected Officials, Community Leaders, The MTA:
(MAY, 2007)

We the undersigned Carroll Gardens homeowners and residents, are appalled by the "as of right" ruling which allows owners and developers to erect buildings in our neighborhood with no regard to the impact they will present to our quality of life and the value of our homes........