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Provocative artistry makes the waterfront ‘Hot’

The art scene in Brooklyn will be officially hot this summer, twice, with double-barreled events sponsored by the city’s largest artist-run organization. The fifth annual Summer Show, “Hot!” of the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (BWAC) will open July 26 in its historic Civil War-era warehouse galleries in Brooklyn’s booming Red Hook section.

And, setting the stage July 12, at the same dramatic venue, BWAC will present a special event, 2nd Saturday. This specially curated section will feature large pieces set for the “Hot!” summer show and will fill the cavernous ground floor of the historic warehouse. Celebrating the diversity that is Brooklyn, there will be South African art, a free tasting of Madiba’s South Africa cuisine and a free concert of South African music at 3 p.m.

“Hot!” will be open weekends from July 26 to August 17, with more than 700 paintings, drawings, sculpture, photographs, and multi-media works by BWAC members.

As always with BWAC, most of the art works on display are for sale, for a wide range of prices. Buyers may take home their work at the time of purchase.

The work of two artists is being featured in the “Hot!” show. Tom Vega (www.tomvega.com) is an artist who works in acrylics. His work has been shown in Manhattan galleries and 20 of his large acrylics hang on the set of the TV reality series “The Bachelorette.”

The landscape theme continues with the work of Judith Eloise Hooper, the other featured artist. She works in ceramic, collage, and on paper and in the show, she exhibits her ceramic take on what she calls aerial landscapes.

Another feature of the show is “What’s the Hook?”, a neighborhood photography project designed to document a single week in the life of Red Hook, one of New York City’s unique and rapidly changing neighborhoods. In seven ordinary days more than 120 people produced 1,000 extraordinary photos of what Red Hook means to them.

Also highlighted in the show, in keeping with BWAC’s waterfront identity is “Waterline: Design Ideas for the Urban Estuary Edge in Red Hook”. The exhibitors are graduate students in the landscape architecture program at The City College of New York.

A series of live acoustic musical performances of all genres, “UnPlugged in Red Hook,” will take place during the run of the show. Eight concerts are scheduled, including classical, jazz, blue grass, and big-band music. And, on August 3, the Communicable Arts group will be doing a production of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” All these performances are free.

The Brooklyn Craft Festival, co-sponsored by NY Creates, will adjoin the “Hot!” show, on the waterfront esplanade. The juried show will include welded bowls, ceramics, jewelry, dolls, one-of-a-kind designer clothes, and many more unique items.

A silent auction of selected contributed art works will run throughout the show, enabling BWAC to raise money to help maintain the gallery space.

Red Hook businessman Greg O’Connell, who has been a guiding light of the Red Hook Renaissance, donates the exhibition space in the 25,000 square foot warehouse that dates to the Civil War. Since BWAC started showing in Red Hook in 1992, the area has blossomed into a destination for people interested in art, dining, bar-hopping, and shopping (Fairway and IKEA).

“Hot!” runs 1-6 p.m. and the exhibition is at 499 Van Brunt Street in Red Hook. For more, visit www.bwac.org or call 718-596-2506.

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