Many New Yorkers would say that the best way to welcome the Spring months is to spend many sun drenched afternoons touring and taking in the DUMBO Arts Festival. This once up and coming neighborhood, now considered one of the most trendy and coveted real-estate markets, is the perfect backdrop to this festival that celebrates life and free thinking.
Yet like the saying goes, it became too much of a good thing. It was like a party that got too exciting and got shut down by the cops. Blame the neighbors.
Founded in 1997 the festival was initially established as a grass roots artists’ initiative designed to attract people to experience art in DUMBO in order to preserve the neighborhood as a springboard for new art and ideas.
Recent news has informed that the iconic festival has concluded its 18 year run and will not be returning in 2015. The neighbors complained.
Now, in all fairness we can’t really blame the residents. Here’s a snippet from the farewell letter written by the festival’s director:
“…as the festival grew and grew–more than 220,000 visitors flooded the neighborhood for the festival weekend last year–it became clear that we could no longer mount the festival ourselves without commercializing it in a way that didn’t feel right. We were getting too far from the original mission of the festival.”
In other words, what was once celebrated for being underground has now become too mainstream to continue.
This news has really hit some of the festivals returning visitors really hard s many of them probably feel they are now left without an outlet to fulfill their appreciation for art.
But it’s important to remember what brought you out to the festival in the first place.
Beer in plastic cups? Food trucks? The ambience? Perhaps a little of all of those things but none of that truly mattered without the art that resonated around you.
The true intention behind the creation of art festivals is to celebrate art and frankly, to promote the artists and get them the necessary exposure to be successful.
Here are three way you can channel DUMBO Arts Festival vibes:
1) Visit local art galleries. You’ve probably walked passed these hidden gems, not realizing the beauty that lies inside. Make it a ritual of visiting your favorite art spots once a month (the usual art rotation in most galleries) and keep an eye out for show openings. What not to love about an evening of conversing about art over a glass of wine?
2) Read your favorite up and coming artists’ blogs. Don’t have to time to make it to the galleries? Artist blogs are everywhere and so much fun to read. Most of the time the artists will post images of new works or works in progress along with open discussion forums of what their fans want to see in new works.
3) Go to art expos. Perhaps not as flashy as art festivals, art expos will bring you all the art you could ever want under one roof. And unlike art festivals, art expos are held all year round since they aren’t obscured by harsh weather. Keep an eye out for Art Expo: NYC coming in April.