art

Juliet is no stranger to art.  Together we spot and admire street art, explore museums as a family, enjoy mommy and me art gallery days and get invited to the coolest pop-ups. Through it all, we’ve really developed a penchant for finding cool art around the world.  But our favorite art experience thus far has been Refinery 29’s 29 rooms.  What is 29 Rooms you ask?  It’s a multi-sensory, “interactive funhouse of style, culture, & technology.”  The masterminds at Refinery 29 have partnered with global artists, corporate brands, and fashion designers to takeover and transform a grungy Brooklyn warehouse into the most magnificent fantasy world where you get to feel, smell, create and sometimes literally, jump into the art segmented and found in 29 spaces.

29 rooms, nyc art

With only a 3 hour interval to explore 29 rooms, I calculated that left us with just 6 minutes per room including the wait time to get into each room.  Knowing that made my heart race because there were just so many amazing surprises to discover within this cavernous space.  And having seen it all last year (click here for the pictures from 2016), I knew there was something fabulous and exciting waiting for us in each space.  So without further adieu, I’m going to let the pictures do all the talking in this post.  Feast your eyes on this and tell me what your favorite room is!

refinery 29, 29 rooms 2017, turn it into art, #turnitintoart

29 rooms, refinery 29,

refinery 29

29 rooms, refinery 29, pillows

The 3 hours flew by and we wanted to stay longer!  If you want to see more, check out my Instagram story NOW while it lasts for more video and sneak peeks.

Here are 8 tips for those of you with kids:

  1. Only bring kids if you know they enjoy and appreciate art enough to follow directions about when they can or cannot touch artwork.  If they’re the type to run through breaking or tearing everything like a bull in a China store, it’s best to leave them home (obvi).  I only bring Juliet to so many artsy events and galleries because I completely trust and know that she will respect the artist’s (and my) wishes.
  2. Yes there are bathrooms on-site so no worries that you will have to hunt one down.
  3. No f&b is allowed inside and none is sold at the venue.  We made do by sneaking in some snacks in my purse and by purchasing a $1 bottle of water from the random guy on the street selling to thirsty fashionistas waiting in line
  4. The Wall Street ferry from Pier 11 in Manhattan takes you to the N. Williamsburg stop in about 20 minutes (3rd stop).  Tickets are $2.75 each way and kids under a certain height (43″ I think) are free. From the terminal stop at N. Williamsburg take a left on Kent Ave, walk 3 blocks and take a right on N 9th st. and Whythe Ave will be 1 block away but before you get to Whythe, you’ll likely see a line wrapped around the corner at 9th st. anyways.
  5. Dress light.  There is limited AC and no windows from which a breeze could relieve you.  We went on a perfect 70degree weather day and still found ourselves thankful we did not show up in pants/jeans.  Some rooms felt like saunas.
  6. If you’re a die-hard Instagrammer, bring a change of clothes/accessories and study the hashtag #29rooms beforehand.  By now, plenty of bloggers like me have posted reveals.  Check out their posts for ideas and inspiration and plan accordingly.  (See this post on how to achieve the highly coveted, Instagram-able shot!)
  7. Free up space on your phone and bring an extra portable charger.  You don’t want to be stuck missing out on recording these amazing scenes and memories because your phone just died or you’re out of memory!
  8. Download the new and free 29Rooms Interactive App which will serve as your personal tour guide for inside and outside the 29 rooms area.

If you’re a follower of my FB page then you’ve likely seen my alert the day Refinery 29’s tickets went on sale.  Tickets have sold out at this point but Refinery 29 was conducting social media giveaways so I’d follow them on IG and check Craig’s list for scalpers if you’re dying to get in but were too late to the game.

Now go ahead, what was your favorite room?

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Her tee shirt says it all.  She loves candy.  So when Wonderkids asked if we would like to cover their Candyland event, it didn’t take much convincing.  We were THERE!

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Located at the DL, a 3-floor venue in the lower east side of Manhattan, costumed characters paraded in dressed creatively as their favorite candy.  The organizers “strongly encourage” creative costuming.  We saw people simply dressed with candy haphazardly taped to their colorful shirts to a man who took the theme to another level dressing head to toe as Willy Wonka!  Eye candy was everywhere!  Doughnut leggings on one mom, a splash of rainbow swirls all over one child, and then… this pastel-hued lady with the cotton candy hat.  LOVED HER!

wonderkids, dl, kids candy party

Oh my!  I wanted her whole costume for next Halloween!  But alas, it’s one of a kind of course, given she painstakingly hand-made it herself!

The event bills itself as a “creative dance experience where kids and parents celebrate life, self-expression, music, dance, creativity and community.”  I found it to be a place where Burning Man fanatics grow up and party with their kids.  It had sort of a bohemian vibe, the house music rocked, and I got the feeling that all the hippie flower child inspired looks came straight out of these guests’ normal wardrobes.

kids events in nyc, burning man

Whatever the style, the kids had fun!  Juliet enjoyed making a bead necklace with me, posing with a gigantic gingerbread man cookie, testing out her hula hoop skills, and finding sweets along the way.

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What a magical sweet world it was!

candyland, kids event, kids party

My favorite and most inspirational sighting was this giant cake.  The community was encouraged to help decorate it and I just thought what a brilliant crafting activity to have at a future birthday party!  All you would need is cardboard, paper to wrap it with and items to decorate it with (think stickers, play doh, scrapbook paper cutouts, glitter glue, etc).  Juliet happily stationed herself here for quite some time!

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The 3 hour party had a lively tone and we happily explored each and every corner, dancing our way throughout.  You could event paint along to the music!

kids birthday party ideas, candyland theme, diy cake, cake crafting, painting for kids

Thanks to Wonderkids for this wildly imaginative way to spend a Saturday!  This is why I love NY.  There are so many amazing, artsy and fun things for families to discover and make memories from.  I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!  Happy Saturday!

 

Disclaimer – We were given 3 complimentary tickets to review the event but as always the opinions expressed are 100% my own.

 

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brooklyn art, herve tullet author, press play, this isn't trash, invisible dog art

When children’s book author, Herve Tullet’s team invited us to Brooklyn to see his latest art exhibit, we trekked over the Brooklyn Bridge!  These two minifashionistas had to see “This Isn’t Trash,” (the title to this imaginative artist’s graphic installation) and us mommy bloggers obliged!

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featured here are GothamLove and DowntownChicMoms

The Invisible Dog Art Center where this was held was packed that night with art-lovers looking to get up close and personal with the both the author and his work.  Up-close viewings revealed torn paper, shreds, tape and pieces on the floor left to look a little like trash.

herve tullet, brooklyn art exhibit, nyc art, modern art

above photo: Courtesy The Invisible Dog- Simon Courchel

There was even a cardboard box sitting in the middle of the room, there for people to discover, with the label this isn’t trash filled with scrap, torn pieces of his art.  Of course, this was a big hit with the kids!

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For more on this exhibit, check out my article on Mommy Nearest!DSC_7990  herve tullet, herve tullet book, herve tullet art

And check out these two playing ring around the rosie right outside the exhibit! (Thanks GothamLove for the video!)

 

 

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Whether or not you’re an art enthusiast, this newly launched art exhibition in partnership with NYC non-profit, Chashama Foundation, will have you doing double-takes.  Situated at the corner of Broadway and Exchange Place in New York City’s Financial District, Carole Feuerman’s hyperrealistic sculptures placed front and center near the entryway beg for a closer look.

nyc art, nyc art gallery, carole feuerman art, sculptures, chashama foundation, fidi art, new york art

A quick glance around and you realize there is a quirky swim theme.  “For me,” Ms. Fuerman reflects, “swimmers represent peace, serenity, and survival.”

nyc art gallery, swim, swimmer art, statue, sculpture

Ladies fashioned in vintage swim caps and modest suits share a nonchalant “life’s a beach” sort of vibe that brings you back to your last vacation.

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Wouldn’t these sculptures be so fun sitting on top of a resort pond or reflecting pool somewhere?

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The paintings shared a vibrant, happy tone -something that Juliet could relate to. DSC_7549

Apparently though Carole Feuerman’s sculptures had achieved worldwide fame, this was the first time her paintings and prints were on view to the public.  I thought they were glorious and reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s pop art.

Perhaps the most surprising element to this FIDI art exhibit however was the lone man sitting in the corner seemingly watching us observe the female figurines.

statue, swimmers, swim, fidi art gallery, fidi art

He caught Juliet by surprise as she wondered out loud whether he was also a statue.  True to the artist’s form, she detailed out all the imperfections.  Here Juliet is pointing out his scuffed up sneakers saying maybe someone stepped on him.  hah

fidi art, new york city art gallery, hyperealistic sculptures

If you’re in the area and have a few minutes to spare, I highly suggest you check this out.  It’s a fun, break from the ordinary and makes you re-examine what you know to be true.   See the 3 top reasons to take your toddler to an art gallery here.   And follow us on Instagram to see our daily fashionable mommy and me adventures!

 

 

PERCEPTION – In the Eye of the Beholder by Carole Feurerman
is on exhibit  at the Chasama space at One Exchange Plaza, on the corner of Broadway and Exchange (across the street from Fidelity bank)
on view until March 24th
M-Th 12pm-7pm, Fri 12pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-8pm, Sun 4pm-7pm

 

 

 

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NYC has so much to offer in terms of arts and culture.  We feel blessed to have so many amazing opportunities to show Juliet a good time that are both fun for all and educational too!  When Symphony Space invited us to view one of their new, family-friendly “Just Kidding” performances, we were thrilled to review their calendar and find that they had dance performances for our tiny dancer to watch!  This 3.5 year old LOVES dance!  She has started ballet at 18months and has this year, added tap classes to her dance routine. Having read that there would be over 100 dancers from National Dance Institute’s “The Celebration Team” on stage we knew this would be a spectacle!

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What we didn’t know and fully appreciate until after seeing the show was the level of professionalism that would be exhibited.  As a fellow dancer myself, (I trained in tap and jazz for 12 years, while also dabbling in ballet, hip hop and other forms of dance) I deeply understood the hours of practice and collaboration a performance like this required.  And to think we expected to see another kid’s recital…

national dance institute, arts for kids, nyc kids

What made this dance performance so awe-inspiring was the choreography.  I was seriously SO impressed.  Dances ranged from African to modern, to jazz and hip hop styles- all mixed in with an innovative dose of poetry.  (yes poetry!)  And I’m not talking about the Dr. Seuss variety but quotes from Walt Whitman and other sophisticated leaders and prime poets from our century!  And the creativity  (oh the creativity!)  It was Broadway / Martha Graham – level!  I couldn’t help but be a tad bit jealous of these kids who got to train under such talented tutelage.  Way to go to all the Producers and developers of this show!ndi_poetry_02medium

The other interesting things about the show was that it featured a healthy mix of boys and girls.  They say it’s hard to find male dancers but you wouldn’t know it from this stage! They made for excellent examples for all the littles to look up to!  And finally, who knew a kids’ dance performance could so powerfully translate themes of diversity, hope, and love.  We appreciated the sophisticated messages that kept the adults thinking and on their toes too!

Tips for Parents:

  • refreshments can be purchased inside the auditorium.  There’s even wine for the adults (woohoo!) and yes, you are allowed to take them back to your seat.
  • Booster seats for the little ones are readily made available so everyone no matter their age enjoyed excellent viewing
  • Indoor stroller valet is free of charge
  • It’s conveniently located across from the 96th street subway stop on Broadway

In this highly digital age, it’s so nice when we can find entertainment away from an ipad that is rich with culture, isn’t it?  Plus what parent can turn down the opportunity to give their kids an art-filled family memory? The Symphony Space’s remarkable calendar of events (there are shows every weekend now through the end of March!) includes everything from music to acrobatics to comedy, to puppetry to theater and of course, dance.  You’re sure to find something that suits your fancy.

Here are a couple of our picks for upcoming shows!


Les Parfaits Inconnus

“goofballs who jugle, rock out, shimmy up poles, and make their audiences squeal with delight.” -The Seattle Times

Saturday, January 7 at 11 am and 2 pm:

Justin Roberts and The Not ready for Naptime Players 

“the Judy Blume of Kiddie rock” -The New York Times)

Sat., December 10 11am and 2pm

Full Disclosure – we were given complimentary tickets to review the show and venue.   All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

 

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misaki kawai, cave life

I love art and so does Juliet.  We’ve enrolled her in art classes since age 18months and she has happily and proudly made her own art at various school settings and at home ever since!  She often comes running over to us at school pick-up excitedly telling us, “I made this for YOU!!” And we’ve already collected a mountain of her artwork, turning our fridge and sometimes her playhouse into a virtual art gallery.  One way we’ve encouraged her love of art is to take her to art galleries around the city.  Here are the 3 main reasons galleries are great places to take a toddler. 

misaki kawai, cave life

  1. It’s a mommy and me outing that doesn’t SUCK.  There comes a time (usually weekly) where you’ve had enough of the playgrounds and indoor play pits.  Anyone relate to this?  Kids running around, crying and screaming while your mind goes numb and you look into your phone as your only outlet for parental pleasure…  Sometimes you need to mix it up!  Take your kids to a kid-friendly art gallery for some education and culture that feeds both your minds and souls.  How many times can you say you left inspired after leaving the playground?? misaki kawai, cave life
  2. Experience the culture without the overwhelm.  Toddlers (and plenty of adults) have short attention spans.  Instead of trying to cover an entire museum in one day in order to try and get your money’s worth,  (after all you could be forking over $20 admission at a famed NYC museum), you can expect to dedicate anywhere from 10minutes to a half an hour at a gallery for free while feeling the same accomplishment and satisfaction of having completed an artsy, worthwhile experience.  Small doses feel manageable.  Avoid the overwhelm and ensure yourself a happy toddler.misaki kawai, cave life
  3. It encourages curiosity and creativity.  Win mommy of the week award (if there ever was such a thing) by enriching your child’s life with the joy of exploration, curiosity AND creativity.  Juliet actually told me the other day at our last gallery outing, “Mommy, I love going on adventures with you.  this is so exciting!”  You never know what you may find!  In today’s case, we found an all yellow room, with fun painted furniture in the shape of bananas, snakes and bones.  The large-scale paintings, and wall murals seemed straight out of a child’s imagination.  Juliet immediately related and was quick to tell me about her favorite finds.cave life, nyc art, nyc art gallery, 312 bowery, the hole

If you’re interested in checking out this sunny space, go to 312 Bowery to a gallery space named “The Hole” before this “Cave Life” exhibit by Misaki Kawai ends on October 30th.  Note that it is only open Wednesday – Sunday 12pm-7pm and is by the Bleeker Street 6 train and Broadway-Lafayette B, D, F and M trains.

It promises to bring out the kid in all of us.  Juliet and I went home and continued to talk about what we saw and even tried to replicate some of the artwork at home!

misaki kawai, cave life, nyc art gallery, the hole, art for kids

For more of our artsy adventures, check out our posts on  Refinery 29’s NYFW installation, NYC street art, and the Osgemeos gallery exhibit!

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We are so lucky to live in Manhattan and have such easy access to all the amazing art in the city!  Today, after school pick-up, we enjoyed the unseasonably warm 80 degree fall weather with a little artsy adventure.  Lehmann Maupin on W 22nd street showcased a wildly colorful exhibit featuring Brazilian artist duo OSGEMEOS that we just had to see for ourselves.

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Twin brothers Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo transformed multiple rooms in an immersive installation that combined drawing, painting, collage, mixed media sculpture, and kinetic and audio elements.

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We found the vibrant art to be so much fun to explore with its playful, quirkyiness!  Ever hear of the man in the moon?  Well here’s a toddler too!

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The exhibition offers “a heightened multi-sensory experience that embraces the power of human imagination and the vast possibilities in visually interpreting the subconscious.”  It certainly did feel a little dreamy, that is if you dream in full, technicolor fashion!

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Osgemeos’s signature yellow characters and intriguing patterns felt accessible and understandable to all ages which is why I highly recommend it as a fun outing for moms and kids.  I love that I can instill the appreciation of art and exploration through NYC exhibits like this!

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Check it out, even if it’s just for all the Instagram-able floor-to-ceiling art walls!     silence of the music, nyc art, nyc gallery

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panda, panda love, panda room, 29 rooms

These days with the social media craze, it seems like everyone is searching for the latest and greatest and most Instagram-able moments.  Refinery 29 understands this inherently and has created Refinery ’29 Rooms’ to draw us all into their creative, fashionable world.  “29Rooms brings to life a lot of the themes Refinery29 covers in its digital content to a physical space, said Piera Gelardi, co-founder and executive creative director of Refinery29. “We live in an increasingly digital world, so people want to have memorable experiences, but they also want to be able to share them with their digital friends,”  As a former brand director, who created press-worthy integrated marketing campaigns, I found this immersive branding concept so up my alley and couldn’t wait to explore everything!  Since I had a VIP pass to 29 rooms, I knew I could skip the crazy long lines and bring Juliet along for the adventure and I’m soooo glad I did!

The transformed 80,000-square-foot warehouse felt like a cool, artsy maze with which you could weave your way in and out constantly discovering colorful new reasons to smile.

refinery 29 rooms

I loved how Juliet perked up at the sight of each cool new fantastical room.

29 rooms 2016, 29 rooms by refinery29

Each showcased, design, style, beauty, art, and even technology in the coolest, weirdest and unexpected ways.  But what topped our list as the most memorable rooms were the interactive ones!  Most were super kid-friendly like the ones that encouraged writing on the walls…hoping Juliet doesn’t get used to this bright idea…

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refinery 29, 29 rooms, brooklyn baby

And we totally enjoyed getting goofy and making art with our bodies!dsc_0794

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29 rooms brooklyn, 29 rooms 2016

Our top 4 favorite rooms out of the 29 rooms however were:  Celebrate You, Wig Wonderland, Texture room, and the Panda room!

I loved the Papyrus sponsored Celebrate You room for obvious reasons.  I’m a party planner after all and I live by the self-made motto, “celebrate the everyday in style.”  So this confetti filled room enveloped in party supplies had me in my happy place!  Juliet yelped, “it’s like a party in here!” And it sure was!

papyrus room, 29 rooms

We posed for silly GIF photos and threw endless confetti around ‘cuz that’s what you do in a party palace.  All mommy needed was some rose’ to really make it a party on this blistery hot day!

refinery 29 rooms

Juliet’s favorite (cuz she adores dress up) was what I like to call the wig wonderland.  Juliet loved trying on each whimsical wig and guests couldn’t stop taking selfies of themselves here!  The social shares here must be through the roof!  Apparently Ru Paul collaborated on this room hence, his famous saying lit up for all the world to see, ‘you better WORK!”  Juliet came back to this room for a 2nd time it was that good!

rupaul wig, refinery 29, refinery 29 rooms9-9-001

The next room was filled with textural surprises.  Juliet and I explored, danced, laughed and played in it for far longer than warranted.  You just never know what will inspire a toddler, I guess! She started playing around with the fur as if it were Rapunzel’s long locks flowing from the top of her head and me?  Well I just sort of got danced around getting my groove back!

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Last but not least, the room we both were obsessed with was the Panda room!

 

29 rooms

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Having seen this room all over Instagram before coming, I knew to pack Juliet’s panda fashions. So out came her Gymboree panda shirt and matching shoes.  The artist and staff loved her outfit so much that they insisted Juliet take home one of the coveted but never given away, blow-up pandas that you see here.  What a souvenir!!  She was honored!  THANK YOU!

29 rooms

Braving the heat wave was worth it just for this Instagram-able room by Nicopanda.  Everyone was frantically snapping up a storm in here, knowing soon their time would be up and they’d have to stop sinking deliriously into this panda pit and return to reality.  This truly immersive art project will not soon be forgotten!

If you’re in the NY area, it’s worth a visit!  Just know that typically lines are at least an hour wait so be prepared!

When: September 9 through 11, from 12 to 8 p.m.
Where: 8 Ingraham Street, Brooklyn, NY

For more photos (so many to share, so little space!), follow me @fabgabblog on FB, Instagram and Twitter where I’ll be posting scenes from more rooms!

We had so much fun here and hope this post put a little joy in your day!  Please leave a comment!

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