Thursday, June 17, 2010

Where tools and art collide

By Aaron Short

At the Crest Hardware Art Show, it’s difficult to tell where the art ends and the tools begin.

That’s part of the fun, as the annual art show, opening June 19, blends elaborate sculptures, paintings and mixed media works with hardware tools found in the Williamsburg store.

Crest Hardware’s Joe Franquinha started the annual exhibition nine years ago and chooses each piece based on the exhibit’s theme: artwork made using the tools in his store.

“A lot of artists are customers who come in on a daily basis,” said Franquinha. “It is interesting to see how they use hardware in a way that stops people in their tracks.”

There will be over 100 works spread throughout the store and its outdoor garden, but look out for Ryan Humphrey’s sculpture inspired by Duchamp’s famous sculpture of a bicycle wheel on a stool, Korean artist Ji Yong Ho’s piece made from recycled old tires, and Joan Benefiel’s garden sculpture made from surf board resin.

Proceeds from the sale of the artwork will go towards the City Reliquary. Franquinha picked the museum as this year’s beneficiary because it does “a really special job of preserving the everyday history of New York.”

“We’re one of the longest-standing businesses in Williamsburg,” said Franquinha of the family-owned shop, which opened in 1962. “We want to make sure the example we set is something other businesses reach for.”

On opening day, dubbed Crest Fest, don’t miss the party across the street in Macri Park, where a diverse lineup of musicians will be playing as part of the festival, including Nick Catchdubs, Oberhofer, and Deluka. Hardware theme optional.

Art Show at Crest Hardware [558 Metropolitan Ave. near Union Avenue in Williamsburg, (718) 388-9521], June 19-July 30, with an opening day party from noon-11 pm. Free. For info, visit


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