Every year in New York City, with the beginning of warm weather, – well it’s getting warmer earlier, so let’s just say the beginning of June – artists of the city take over an abandoned island called Governors Island. The island was most recently used as residence for United States Coast Guards and was closed in 1996 for financial reasons. In 2003 they transferred it to the State of New York, who still hasn’t figured out what to do with it. The admirals of the Coast Guard who once lived in those now empty mansions could not have imagined that once a year their homes would become a meeting ground for ravers and hippies, hipsters, DJ’s, artists and so much more of New York City’s “underground” residents.
The event, which lasts a weekend, is free for all to enter. It is an interactive and participatory oasis of art called FIGMENT. Figment organizers describe their goal as “celebrat(ing) an abundance of creativity and passion, challenging artists and our communities to create, share, think and dream.”
Now, why am I bringing this up?
One reason is of course to tell you about a pretty cool day I had. But also to ask, being that this is currently a Nigerian based blog, does Nigeria have something like this? Anything relatively organized? Do artists take a whole year to work on pieces, interactive as well as not, for one event? Something that they won’t make any money from? That’s free? Is there somewhere that people can just go, and maybe they spend some money on food, but really its a free exhibit of art.
I’m not sure, but if there isn’t, wouldn’t it be nice for there to be one? It’s possible. Not just because anything is possible, but because there are so many talented people in Nigeria, so many artists. Maybe there should be one day a year that you don’t have to blow N20,000 to have a good time.
Below, I’m adding photos of that day, so that you can see the type of things that were there, and hopefully, it can inspire aspiring artists as well as professional artists. Art for fun, not for profit.