Image courtesy of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov

Ship of Tolerance a highlight of Brooklyn’s DUMBO Arts Festival

Image courtesy of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov

Image courtesy of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Each year the DUMBO Arts Festival seeks to highlight Brooklyn’s commitment to, and presence in, the arts community by presenting the best in local, national and international art amid the breathtaking backdrop of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline.

The DUMBO Arts Festival attracts 200,000 visitors over three days with the participation of more than 500 artists from a variety of disciplines, as well as 100 studios, 50 galleries and stages; and 100 program partners. This year, the festival will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 27, 28 and 29. The official festival hours are Friday 6-9 p.m., Saturday noon to 9 p.m., and Sunday noon to 6 p.m. Outdoor projections will be on view through midnight on all three nights.

Art revelers can enjoy outdoor and indoor visual art installations and exhibitions; digital art and large scale projections; visits to artists working in their studios or creating street murals; dancers, poets and performers throughout the neighborhood, on street corners, and in the park.

A special attraction at this year’s festival is the Ship of Tolerance, which reflects the vision of artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. An actual three-dimensional ship to be docked beside Brooklyn Bridge Park, its sails are stitched together from paintings created by hundreds of New York public schoolchildren of many different ethnic and social backgrounds.

“By participating in the creation of this ship, children learn about respecting different cultures and ideas while appreciating how they differ from their own. In short, through this creative process they will both demonstrate and gain a vibrant lesson in tolerance,” the artists wrote on their website.

Over a period of two weeks prior to its unveiling, the ship will be constructed at Miller’s Launch on Staten Island by a team of carpenters from Manchester, England, led by David Harold. Modeled after an ancient Egyptian sailing vessel, the ship will have a wood frame and measure approximately 66ft long by 23ft wide.

All of the schoolchildren who took part in the art project will be present for the ship’s sail-raising and launch at 12 noon on September 27.

The Ship of Tolerance will remain on view at the Brooklyn waterfront from September 27 through October 8. The New York Historical Society will present a free Ship of Tolerance concert on September 27 at 7:30 p.m., featuring young performers from La Guardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York, the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, and the Spivakov Foundation in Moscow and Havana.

On September 28, the Manhattan Sailing Club will host a regatta in which members will sail their boats from Battery Park to meet the Ship of Tolerance. The sailboats will also carry children’s drawings symbolizing New York as a port city that welcomes individuals from all countries, faiths and races.

On October 8th the ship will travel on a barge around Manhattan to Staten Island and, from October 11-13, it will be at the Atlantic Salt Yard. Five previous interpretations of the Ship of Tolerance have appeared in Siwa, Egypt; Venice, San Moritz, Switzerland; and Sharjah, UAE.

Visit the DUMBO Arts Festival website at and the Ship of Tolerance website at

About Ilya and Emilia Kabakov:

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov are major figures on the international art scene. In 2008 they were awarded the Praemium Imperiale, established by the Emperor of Japan to honor the fields that the Nobel Prize does not cover. Art News magazine named them among the top 10 living artists.

Their work is regularly exhibited in leading international museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC; Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Whitney Museum of American Art, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Centre George Pompidou, Paris; and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. In 1993 they represented Russia at the 45th Venice Biennale with their installation titled The Red Pavilion.

The Kabakovs have also completed many important public commissions throughout Europe and have received a number of honors and awards, including the 2002 Oscar Kokoschka Preis, Vienna; and the 1995 Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, Paris.

llya Kabakov has been making installation art since 1984. Working with Emilia Kabakov, he has become one of the medium’s most important practitioners and theoreticians. He was a leading figure of the Russian art movement of the 1980s.

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Image courtesy of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov

Image courtesy of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov