Timbuktu At Topless
Operating from a reopened vintage yellow house on Beach 96th Street, Topless’ founders and curators Jenni Crain and Brent Birnbaum, launched Timbuktu, the last exhibition of the season, on Saturday, Aug. 15.
Timbuktu as a name and an exhibition is evocative of imagined far away, exotic places. It is on view adjacent to The Palms new refreshment, vendor and community space which literally grew up around the gallery this year.
The showcase is comprised of works by Colby Bird, Hector M. Flores, Anthony Iacono, Annette Kelm and Ralph Pugay. Flores, who makes his home in Mexico City and whose work is shown all over the world, was on hand for the opening reception.
Reflecting on this last exhibition for the season and most likely this location, Crain notes, “We have decided to do a soft closing this year. Timbuktu, our fourth and final exhibition of our second season, will close on Aug. 30, as will the gallery until next summer, 2016. We have shared so many special moments with friends, old and new, that the breadth of the season itself really suffices as one extended celebration.”
This month, Crain also opened the first solo exhibition of her own art at Manhattan’s Y Gallery. At the relaxed convivial opening Birnbaum also spoke about pursuing his artistic work with a project in Germany.
“It has been another remarkable summer in the Rockaways for Topless,” Crain noted. “With two sea- sons under our belts, it has become apparent that each season and each space will bring with it a new tide of lessons and a new wave of friends.
The pleasure of producing a nomadic program is that each season will so vastly differ from the prior. These changes not only make the project more thrilling, as each summer we are apt to be in for a surprise or two, but it also strengthens the program as we learn to adapt to our given surroundings and circumstances.”
What can we expect from their next artistic adventure?
“Topless certainly intends to be back for Season 3 in summer 2016. Our exact locale is yet to be presumed,” Crain explains, "but as the project was developed due to our love of the peninsula, we can confirm that it will be just a hop, skip and a jump from here to there.”
“In the meantime,” she adds, “a publication is in the works that is comprised of new and original content from our artists of season one. We hope that this can be an additional form that the program can assume. Reminding folks where we have been and enticing an excitement of where we are going.”
Both Crain and Birnbaum invite the public to enjoy the new exhibition on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 8 p.m.
But well before the summer and Topless conclude this year, they said, “We would like to extend a thank you to the community that made this summer such a success. Thank you for all your support and see you next summer!”