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Art on the Island

JUL 11, 2011

YI participants hang out with artist Nicholas Fraser as he works on a project out in the sun, July 2011. Photograph by Carda Burke

YI participants hang out with artist Nicholas Fraser as he works on a project out in the sun, July 2011. Photograph by Carda Burke

Last week, Youth Insights had the extraordinary opportunity to visit Governors Island. Since the island is not open to the public during the week, we had the ferry all to ourselves as we set off to sea to enjoy a great day!


When we arrived on the island, we were greeted by a staff member from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), a non-profit arts organization located in Lower Manhattan. He led us on a tour through their Swing Space, a historic army warehouse that was transformed into studio spaces for resident artists. We were able to experience the unique feeling of being on a retreat, while also enjoying a marvelous view of the city. We met some of LMCC’s artists-in-residence and spoke with them about their projects.

Suzanne Kelser, who is interested in the relationship between technology and art, is working on an installation based on the water levels around the island. Her use of a traditional paper made in the Philippines creates a sense of water (without using any actual water), and adds intensity to her work. Louisa Armbrust’s goals of experimenting with old swimming tutorial photos and finding new ways of representing them leads to a very interesting process. Lastly, Nicholas Fraser, who investigates the relationship between images and text, showed us how he brands tree stumps with phrases that have very specific connections to the island. We were very fortunate to get sneak peeks into these artists’ works in progress!

By Yin