Starting Thursday, 63 industrial shipping containers will fill Brooklyn Bridge Park at Pier 5 for Photoville 2014.
The free exhibition was founded three and a half years ago by United Photo Industries as a way to produce “unique, site-specific exhibitions,” said Laura Roumanos, one of UPI’s founders.The festival, which features work of renowned photographers, up-and-coming artists and high school students, has allowed more than 1,000 artists to show this work over the past three years.
Event organizers are expecting 80,000 visitors to Brooklyn Bridge Park, nearly 30,000 more than attended last year. More than 60 installations are planned.
“People make a day out of it, it’s the most beautiful park in the city, in the world, and I think everyone gets a lot out of it,” Roumanos said.
Photoville is more than just the art, Roumanos said. Food trucks and a beer garden allow photographers and visitors to talk shop, and talk about the exhibits. Free professional development workshops and peer review sessions are held, which is especially important for up and coming artists who “might not be able to make rent but want to keep moving forward professionally,” Roumanos said.
And, the beat up shipping containers that tie the event together, are exactly what keep costs down and the event free, Roumanos said.
Although the event is family (and dog) friendly, Roumanos said UPI wants Photoville visitors to think, and experience challenging art that is not as “safe” as many other large-scale, public exhibitions.
Brooklyn-based photographs Stefan Falke is showing photographs from a project called “LA FRONTERA: Artists along the US Mexican Border.” Falke, 58, started traveling the border in 2008, and though he hasn’t finished the trek, has met 180 artists along the way.
Falke, 58, said his project was inspired by the violent stigma of the border, perpetuated by politicians and the media.
“The border is so demonized, militarized,” Falke said. “With borders, people just fly over it, including the people who live there. I wanted to show in this project there is somewhat normal, cultural life like anywhere else. The border region is 2,000 miles long, and has a lot to offer at every given point.”
Falke, who acknowledges the violence and challenges of living in the border region, has photographed 180 artists living along the border to show “border can’t stop culture.” His prints have been published in a book in Germany, and he is looking for a publisher in the U.S.
Photoville runs from 4-10 p.m. on Sept. 18 and 19; from 12-10 p.m. on Sept. 20; from 12-8 p.m. on Sept. 21, from 4-10 p.m. on Sept. 25 and 26; from 12-10 p.m. on Sept. 27 and 12-8 p.m. on Sept. 28.
More information, including a list of exhibits and workshops, is available at photoville.com.