Free in NYC
by Mallory Passuite, 02/29/2012
6 Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
Seventh Ave. at 27th St.
Manhattan, NY 10001
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There's always something exciting to do and see around the five boroughs that doesn't cost a dime. See our weekly picks below, and visit our calendar and special offers section for more free events.
February 29–March 6
Wednesday, February 29
Hrafnhildur Arnardottir (a.k.a. Shoplifter): Vanity Disorder
The Iceland-born, New York–based artist known as Shoplifter presents a solo show of hirsute works at Charles Bank Gallery. "When I came to New York I was fascinated by all the different types of hairstyles on people and how much goes into taming it. Hair becomes like a beast growing on us that has to be tamed," she said in an interview with New York Art Beat. Shoplifter's devoted years to a study on hair, which includes the works in Vanity Disorder—the bright sculptures and wall installations are made of synthetic and human hair. The artist, the most recent recipient of the Nordic Award in Textiles, is also well known for her collaborations with Björk and for her 2008 installation for The Museum of Modern Art.
Thursday, March 1
Japan Week Kickoff Event
Japan Week, an NYC celebration of Japanese food and culture, kicks off at Grand Central Terminal on March 1 with a series of performances and exhibitions. Cooking demonstrations are among the opening-day activities, including a soba noodle salad tutorial by Restaurant Nippon, a New York staple since 1963 (and the first Japanese restaurant in the United States with a sushi bar counter) at 10:30am; a live performance of koto music at 11am; a tea ceremony at 1pm; and ice sculpting at 2pm. Events and demonstrations continue at Grand Central on March 2 and 3.
Friday, March 2
Dan Flavin: Drawing Discussion
The Morgan Library & Museum presents a discussion on a special retrospective of works by an artist largely known for his fluorescent light installations. Dan Flavin: Drawing includes more than 100 drawings, spanning from his early Abstract Expressionist watercolors from the '50s to his sailboat pastels of the '80s, plus approximately 50 works from his personal collection of drawings, which includes works by Sol LeWitt (whom Flavin befriended while working as a guard at The Museum of Modern Art in 1959). The lecture, which will be led by Isabelle Dervaux, Acquavella curator of Modern and Contemporary Drawings, will begin at 7pm. All gallery talks and tours are free with museum admission, which happens to also be free on Fridays from 7 to 9pm.
Saturday, March 3
Historic New York Walking Tour: Fort Totten
Last year marked the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. And Queens' Fort Totten Park remains one of the City's historical sites dating back to the era. It's the setting of an unfinished fort built to protect a New York City gateway from attack from the South. A tour at Fort Totten beginning at 1pm on March 3 covers more than just the structure itself, however. Urban Park Ranger Eric Handy will lead visitors around the former military base and discuss what buildings were used for in the past (housing, photo developing) and their previous incarnations (bakery, movie theater), as well as what they're used for today.
Sunday, March 4
Free Admission to the New York Hall of Science
Take advantage of free-admission hours at the City's only hands-on science and technology center, originally built as a pavilion for the 1964 World's Fair. The New York Hall of Science, also known as NYSCI, houses more than 450 kid-friendly exhibitions permanently on view—such as Search for Life Beyond Earth—plus special shows on tour, currently including Molecules & Health: The Shape of Science, which explores molecules and how they affect the makeup of our bodies. Admission on March 4 is free from 10 to 11am.
Monday, March 5
MoMA @ the Library Presents: Cindy Sherman with Diana Bush
MoMA's latest marquee exhibition offers a retrospective survey of photographs by artist Cindy Sherman, known for provocative self-portraits that appear simultaneously alive and cold. Sherman masterfully and sometimes eerily transforms into another person, rendering herself in various guises and situations to question the contemporary identity of women. She has always assumed the role of both photographer and model, with makeup, wigs and costumes that evoke a range of female archetypes. MoMA lecturer Diana Bush will discuss Sherman and the exhibition at the New York Public Library, beginning at 6:30pm.
Tuesday, March 6
Youthquake! The 1960s Fashion Revolution
Just as the '60s were revolutionary in youth culture, the time redefined fashion. "Once only the rich, the Establishment, set the fashion. Now it is the inexpensive little dress seen on the girls in High Street," British designer and boutique owner Mary Quant has said of the transition. London's mod scene and American hippies began setting trends: dressing for self-expression, blurring traditional lines of gender identity, embracing sexuality and different silhouettes and materials. "The world is all for youth now," model Twiggy noted in 1967. "Because the young people have so much time and money to spend, all the businessmen say let's cash in on youth." Brands and boutiques boomed. Youthquake! explores that time through garments, accessories and video.