On my way to the library, I stopped at the Soldiers and Sailors Arch at the entrance to Prospect Park, to check out what seemed to be a newsstand – but it was painted pink, and had a sign saying Not for Sale. Turns out, this is part of the Park Slope Art Festival, and in fact, the structure (constructed and painted by artists Annie Pettinga and Kati Rehneck in photo at left), is modeled after a newsstand, but instead of the usual candy and reading materials, it holds art made only by artists – over 90 from 10 countries – who identify as female. The brainchild of Girl on Girl Collective, an art collective based in Brooklyn, the newsstand features works which can’t be bought – however, it is possible to acquire some by fulfilling certain conditions, the idea being to create interaction between the artists and the public.
For example, I got one of Hadley Leary’s mini matchboxes, which are mostly covered with photos of women in water, simply by speaking with one of the attendants/artists, and expressing interest in it. If, however, you wanted to get the “Lucky Alive” candy cigarettes, then you would have to be a smoker, so the artist could talk to you about the dangers of smoking. In a nod to the newsstand theme, there was a giant cookie onto which the news had been “printed.” There were some lovely hand-painted postcards, and several art zines. Not for Sale will be open through September 25th, which is also the last day of the Park Slope Art Festival. Stop by and chat with the artists – you don’t have to buy anything, and you might leave with something of value.