Since its October debut, "Carnival Masqueraders in Brooklyn" is one of Skylight Gallery's most popular exhibit this season, bringing in the highest visitor rates for October and November, according to Claire Mike, a volunteer at the gallery.
The Skylight Gallery is located on the third floor of Restoration Plaza and features four exhibits a year. Each exhibit includes an opening reception, an artist workshop/meet-and-greet and a closing reception.
The "Carnival Masqueraders in Brooklyn" collection is produced by celebrated photographer Anthony Bonair and is a 20-image photographic essay of the annual Labor Day Street Festival and Parade on Eastern Parkway, celebrating West Indian and Caribbean heritage.
Born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, Bonair has a deep passion for the Carnival parade; the experience he had of watching his father take part in the parade each year inspired the exhibition.
The exhibit displays images taken by Bonair between 1974 and 1994. Each photograph offers a vivid depiction of the costumes, dance, painted faces and pride of parade participants. The exhibit also displays three full costumes adorned with all the authentic trimmings such as chiffon, feathers and braided copper. A streaming video of the parade also is on display and gives life to an already colorful collection.
The exhibit "preserves in dynamic imagery, the ancient practice of adorning the body to reflect a celebration of life in the face of the death," said curator Dulcie Ingleton.
Mike says the gallery would love to see more visitors and encourages people to come out to gallery openings to "let people know what's here and to meet and mingle with the artists."
"We also like to stress youth programming as part of every exhibition, since we are community based," she said.
Mike who lives just five blocks from Restoration Plaza says she began volunteering because she wanted to help increase community interest and involvement in the gallery. "I never heard of anything that was going on here. I knew it was here because I would come with my parents when I was younger," she said.
"Carnival Masqueraders in Brooklyn" will be on display until January 5, 2011. For more information on the gallery hours and future exhibits visit www.restorationplaza.org or call 718-636-6976