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Dear Mr. President
When: Opens Wednesday, January 17, 4:30–6:30pm
Where: Museum of Modern Art (11 W 53rd Street, Midtown, Manhattan)
This exhibition will showcase the work of adults with developmental disabilities, born out of a collaborative project by YAI Arts — an open studio program that helps these people become working artists — and the Museum of Modern Art’s Access Programs. The theme for 2016’s collaboration was the presidential election, which likely stirred strong reactions in many participants, given Trump’s horrific mocking of a reporter with disabilities. The show will feature portraits of political figures and letters to the President-elect, which visitors are invited too. When the exhibition closes in February, all the letters will be mailed to the White House. —JS
A Father’s FBI File
When: Opens Wednesday, January 18, 6–8pm
Where: Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York (126 Baxter Street, Chinatown, Manhattan)
For Sadie Barnette’s recent body of work, she sifted through FBI documents kept on her father, Rodney Barnette, a founder of the Compton chapter of the Black Panther Party. Her exhibition Do Not Destroy will feature hundreds of these pages, which the artist has covered with pink rhinestones, glitter, and paint, as she takes her father’s story into her own hands. She has also enlarged Polaroid portraits of him, pre and post his involvement with the Black Panther party, whose story is not fully mined and not quite over. —EWA
Cut-up American Flags
When: Opens Thursday, January 19, 6–8pm
Where: Field Projects (526 W 26th Street, #807, Chelsea, Manhattan)
For this solo show, the artist Carla Edwards has cut up, died, and reassembled American flags, transforming them into colorful compositions that look both familiar and foreign. The work is a reaction to the proverb “least said, soonest mended” and the false idea that “injustices will right themselves if ignored.” It gains extra weight in light of our President-elect’s desire to start policing what citizens may do with the flag. —JS
When: Thursday January 19–Friday, January 20 ($10 for Thursday performance)
Where: Danspace Project (St Mark’s Church, 131 E 10th Street, East Village, Manhattan)
This two-day project organized by artist Ruth Patir will consider the relationship between politics and dreaming — a fitting topic for the time of Trump’s inauguration. It kicks off on Thursday night with the presentation of a new version of “Sleepers,” Patir’s video work centered on people’s dreams of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, which were collected by the writer Sheila Heti in 2008. On Friday, some of those dreams will be read aloud by performers, during a day of conversations, workshops, and screenings with guest artists from Tamar Ettun to Liz Magic Laser. —JS
Get into Outsider Art
When: January 19–22 ($20–50)
Where: Metropolitan Pavilion (125 West 18th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
This year’s Outsider Art Fair (OAF) has an impressively international lineup of 65 galleries participating and a less impressive “Talks” program of exactly one panel — albeit a potentially fascinating one (January 18 at 6:30pm), about the process and ethics of discovering outsider artists and championing their work (there’s also a tribute to Barack Obama). Nevertheless, OAF always has something for everyone, from small, impeccably, and obsessively crafted found material sculptures to imaginative drawings and paintings that describe vast and fantastical worlds, and everything in between. There are sure to be works by canonized outsider artists like the Philadelphia Wireman, Howard Finster, and Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, but the new discoveries are always the most gratifying part of the fair. —BS
When: Opens Friday, January 20, 6:30–9:30pm
Where: Ricco/Maresca (529 W 20th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
A number of Chelsea galleries will be shut on Friday in accordance with the #J20 Art Strike, but if you’re still craving a dose of art that day, Ricco/Maresca is opening an exhibition of works on paper by Polish artist Lidia Syroka. Made over the last two decades, the labyrinthine and intricately crafted pieces depict our bodies’ anatomies through renderings that evoke tree bark and decaying leaves. “The process leading from one [series] to another conveys an interior transmutation: the alchemy of the body,” Syroka writes. “I use my body as a vehicle of growth and decay. Deconstruction helps reconstruction. My work shows me the way.” —CV
Global Game Jam
When: Friday, January 20–Sunday, January 22
Where: NYU Game Center (2 Metrotech Center, 8th Floor, Downtown Brooklyn)
Collaboration and creation are vital in this moment of political anxiety, and this weekend’s Global Game Jam is a promising opportunity to meet new people and spend 48 hours building something together. The annual event for game makers of all abilities happens in 93 countries around the world, with New York City’s hub at the NYU Game Center. There, the theme will be announced on Friday night, and results will be exhibited and tested on Sunday evening. The inaugural 2009 theme was “As long as we have each other, we will never run out of problems,” and last year’s was “Ritual,” so expect something broad enough for flexibility, but specific enough to spark some engaging experimentation. —AM
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With contributions by Elisa Wouk Almino, Allison Meier, Benjamin Sutton, and Claire Voon
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