Happy Thursday! This week the doctor has a jumble of openings, films and events for all you ailing art lovers. Start things off with some openings and open studios: a group show at Galapagos in Dumbo, plus the work of New York artists Mildred Beltre and Liz Magic Laser in Crown Heights and the Lower East Side, respectively.

Follow that up with either a trippy film screening at the New Museum or the Ai Weiwei documentary at IFC; plus a trip out to Coney Island for some old-timey fun and an artsy street battle in Cobble Hill.

And the doctor would be remiss if she didn’t prescribe the free pet portraits happening in McGolrick Park. Free pet portraits for all!

Old Coney Island postcard for the Atlantis Under the Sea display

Old Coney Island postcard for the Atlantis Under the Sea display (image via spectacularium.org)

 Creative Nonfiction

When: Opens Thursday, August 23, 6–9 pm
Where: Kunsthalle Galapagos (16 Main Street, Dumbo, Brooklyn)

Beloved Brooklyn performing arts space Galapagos is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its kunsthalle (art gallery) with a  collaborative exhibition. The gallery invited seven artists and art professionals it’s worked with to choose artists and collectively curate a show. The result is Creative Nonfiction, in which nine artists “search for new truths in the unexplainable.”

 Since the Beginning of Resistance

When: Opens Friday, August 24, 5–7:30 pm
Where: Five Myles Gallery (558 St. Johns Place, Crown Heights, Brooklyn)

Mildred Beltre’s abstract artworks are exuberant and sometimes entrancingly obsessive in their relentless repetition of shapes. Five Myles opens a new solo show, Since the Beginning of Resistance …, of work by Beltre: large-scale paper installations directly on the gallery walls, plus a series graphite drawings that explores the tension between the two currents of her work.

 Living Newspaper

When: Reception Friday, August 24, 6–8 pm; open studio Saturday & Sunday, August 25 & 26, 12–6 pm
Where: Forever & Today, Inc. (141 Division Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

Last fall at Performa, artist Liz Magic Laser debuted a new work, I Feel Your Pain, a political video collage edited in real time and based on the historical form of the Living Newspaper. Laser has been reworking and honing this concept of performing the news in her residency at Forever & Today’s Studio on the Street, where she’s turned the space into a news-style “situation room.” Swing by her open studio this weekend to see what she’s been up to.

Still from Valie Export's "Invisible Adversaries"

Still from Valie Export’s “Invisible Adversaries” (image via newmuseum.org, courtesy Facets Multimedia)

 Ghosts on the Screen

When: Saturday, August 25, 3 pm ($10)
Where: New Museum (235 Bowery, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

In conjunction with its current mega-exhibition Ghosts in the Machine, the New Museum offers Ghosts on the Screen, a film series exploring how visual artists have explored and messed with narrative film. This Saturday check out Valie Export’s Invisible Adversaries, the best description of which comes from film critic Amy Taubin: “The film feels a little as if Godard were reincarnated as a woman and decided to make a feminist version of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” Enjoy.


When: Opens Saturday, August 25, 6–10 pm
Where: Klughaus Gallery (47 Monroe Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

Australian graffiti artist is coming to a New York gallery near you to show — not graffiti. For this exhibition at Klughaus, Lush has done a series of black-and-white illustrations that mostly make fun of the graffiti culture he comes from. If “How to Make a Bad ‘Graff’ YouTube Video” is any indication, it’ll be a show worth seeing.

 Closing the Coney Island Spectacularium

When: Saturday, August 25, 8 pm ($20)
Where: Coney Island Museum (1208 Surf Avenue, , Brooklyn)

The Great Coney Island Spectacularium is an exhibition that celebrates Coney Isle as it was before the advent of cinema. Think spectacular live performances, miniature re-creations of events like the Titanic sinking and a cosmorama. The Spectacularium has been on view at the Coney Island Museum for over a year now, and it’s time is nearly over. The closing party features free booze and guest performers, including one musician who will play original scores using mechanical instruments for two 1926 films. This is throwback, turn-of-the-century weirdness at its finest.

 Pet Portraits

When: Sunday, August 26, 12–3 pm
Where: McGolrick Park Farmer’s Market (McGolrick Park, Russell Street and Nassau Avenue, Greenpoint, Brooklyn)

Free pet portraits. Need we say more? The only thing that would make this better is if they were being painted — but we’ll take what we can get.

 Battle on Bergen

When: Monday, August 27, 7 pm
Where: Corner of Bergen and Smith Streets (Cobble Hill, Brooklyn)

Did you know that the largest battle of the Revolutionary War took place in Brooklyn? We didn’t. Luckily Proteus Gowanus is here to educate us — and artfully, with the a staged Battle on Bergen on Monday night. The performance combines of dance, street theater, puppetry (!) and music, with a reading of Walt Whitman’s poem about the Battle of Brooklyn, “The Centenarian’s Story,” afterwards.

 Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

When: Through Tuesday, August 28, various times ($13)
Where: IFC Center (323 Sixth Avenue, West Village, Manhattan)

If you haven’t yet seen Alison Klayman’s documentary (our review here) about Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei, do. Many of us read and hear about Ai constantly, but the movie provides a rare opportunity to see both him and modern-day China in a closer, often harsher and ultimately more honest light.

Jillian Steinhauer is a former senior editor of Hyperallergic. She writes largely about the intersection of art and politics but has also been known to write at length about cats. She won the 2014 Best...