Macon Reed, "Bearing Ancestral Witness" (2017) (courtesy the artist)

Macon Reed, “Bearing Ancestral Witness” (2017) (courtesy the artist)

Want to get some air in the stifling summer heat? Head to Governors Island! This holds especially true this year, as the venerable feminist art nonprofit AIR Gallery has taken over a former military officer’s home for its inaugural artist residency program there. Now that the nine resident artists — Sarah Anderson, Ofri Cnaani, Mira Dayal, Rachel Guardiola, Emily Oliveira, Macon Reed, Barb Smith, Victoria-idongesit Udondian, and Allison Wade — are settled into House 4A in Nolan Park, they’ll be welcoming the public into their secluded island studios on Saturday, July 29 and Sunday, July 30. Come get an early look at the work they’ll be developing over the next eight weeks in an environment that’s a far cry from the converted warehouses of your typical open studio events in Gowanus or Bushwick.

Cynthia Karasek's "Heaven and Earth" (2015-16) from AIR Gallery's programs on Governors Island in 2016 (courtesy AIR Gallery)

Cynthia Karasek’s “Heaven and Earth” (2015-16) from AIR Gallery’s programs on Governors Island in 2016 (courtesy AIR Gallery)

Visitors who make the ferry trip should seize the opportunity to also explore AIR’s concurrent exhibition featuring five of the residents, Fragmented Imaginaries, which will have its opening reception the afternoon of July 29. Fittingly for an island rich in military history that is also being remade for a future of recreational and cultural uses, the featured works explore disjunctures between real and imagined pasts, and their implications for the present and future.

When: Saturday, July 29 and Sunday, July 30, noon–5pm
Where: AIR at Governors Island (House 4A, Nolan Park, Governors Island)

More info here.

Benjamin Sutton is an art critic, journalist, and curator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His articles on public art, artist documentaries, the tedium of art fairs, James Franco's obsession with Cindy...