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Celebrate ZIEMIA: Picnic on Earth at Greenpoint’s McGolrick Park This Saturday

This Saturday June 9, join the Polish Cultural institute of New York as they celebrate the community of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, which has been enriched with Polish culture for over 100 years. An eclectic program of art, music and workshops will unfold at McGolrick Park from 2:00-5:00pm, including a sitespecific sculpture by Greenpoint-based artist Martynka Wawrzyniak.

The sculpture, entitled Ziemia, is a fusion of Greenpoint’s past, present and future, encapsulated in a ceramic orb that pays tribute the diverse residents of the area, and glazed with soil and clay derived from the neighborhood. Wawrzyniak’s sculpture is connects to Greenpoint’s past, sitting on a bed of lush foliage native to the pre-colonial vegetation in the area, which can also be found in the Polish countryside.

The thoughtful sculpture unveiling will be accompanied by a musical program by the Zorya Project and the Jesse Lynch Ensemble, an art exhibition, kids workshops, and more. See the press release below for full details on what will be a great day for the whole family.

Polish Cultural Institute New York Director Anna Domańska notes, “Multiculturalism is part of the organic fabric of New York…[and] The Ziemia project expresses this in a beautiful and symbolic way – our roots have grown on different ground, but by interweaving in a new place they have created a new culture, with a commitment to liberty at its base.”

Ziemia is presented thanks to the support and collaboration of the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

ZIEMIA: Picnic on Earth
WHAT: Opening of Ziemia sculpture in McGolrick Park
Opening of exhibit What Defines Greenpoint Identity
Concert info: Zorya Project, and Jesse Lynch Ensemble
WHEN: Saturday, June 9th, 2:00-5:00 p.m.
WHERE: McGolrick Park, entrance from Russell St between Nassau Ave and Driggs Ave
Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY
Transport: G subway to Nassau Ave stop
Admission is Free!

Bring your kids, and join us for a free outdoor community event, appreciate new piece of art in the park, reflect on the neighborhood’s past, enjoy educational workshops, live music, gadgets and delicious snacks. Take part in the Sto Lat Polska project to win a plane ticket to Poland. All brought to you by The Polish Cultural Institute New York, as a celebration of the centennial of Poland regaining its independence.
The Polish Cultural Institute of New York, presents the opening event of Ziemia (“Earth” in Polish), a
multidisciplinary public art project created in collaboration with NYC Parks and Greenpoint residents. The
core object takes the form of a ceramic orb by Greenpoint-based artist Martynka Wawrzyniak in a
meadow in McGolrick Park, to be unveiled on June 9, 2018. The sculpture serves as a collective
portrait of the diverse Greenpoint community. It is glazed with a mixture of clay excavated in
Greenpoint and soils contributed by participating residents from places that are symbolically
representative of their identities, including: the United States, Poland, Ukraine, Germany, France,
Japan, Serbia, Nepal, the United Kingdom, Ecuador, Mexico, and Namibia. The project includes many
Poles who have lived in Greenpoint for generations.

The meadow where the orb sits is composed of plants which have been present in this neighborhood
since pre-colonial times and which are also native to the Polish countryside.

The Ziemia project also involves workshops focused on the social and ecological history of the neighborhood conducted by Wawrzyniak in local schools, community art centers, and senior centers, involving participants across generations and cultures. At the opening event, children will take part in creative ecological workshops referencing the materials used in the Ziemia orb: a Soil-Painting Workshop, a Seed Bomb Workshop, and a Sculpture Workshop. Kids will be invited to create their own art with clay, seeds, found objects, and provided art materials. The purpose of the workshops is to restore a personal connection to the soil and the neighborhood’s ecology, raise environmental awareness, and learn a guerilla gardening technique to help in efforts to re-wild Greenpoint.

An accompanying exhibition, What Defines Greenpoint Identity, reflects on the footprints generations of
immigrants have left in the neighborhood throughout the years. Looking at architecture, social life and nature, it examines how certain landmark buildings have adjusted to the needs of new residents. It highlights institutions that have endured unchanged and remembers some that are long gone. Curated by Magdalena Mazurek with input from Geoffrey Cobb, author of Greenpoint Brooklyn’s Forgotten Past, and Annie S. Hauck, Ph.D., R.D., co-editor of Gastropolis: Food and New York City and author of My Little Town: A Brooklyn Girl’s Food Voice. This narrative illustrates the diversity of cultures living on one block, and meeting each other in one convenience store, based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It is meant to be an initial reflection on who Brooklynites are. They may be first, second, or third generations of Italians, Germans, Poles, Irish, Puerto Ricans, French, etc.

A live concert will be performed by Zorya, a musical project created by Polish singer and violinist Karolina
Beimcik. This group has its roots in Slavic mythology and is a fresh representation of Eastern European folk music. Their repertoire includes charming lullabies, love songs, and original compositions inspired by the history and culture of Central and Eastern Europe. The music derives from small villages in the mountains, forests, and fields and it is sung in the original dialects of the Kurpie and Lemko people. Karolina Beimcik- voice, violin, Rafał Sarnecki- guitar, Matt Aronoff- double bass. Join us in celebrating the centennial! “Sto lat!” literally means “one hundred years” and is the most common way to wish somebody happy birthday in Poland. Using our #StoLatPolska app, take a picture to turn into a birthday postcard for Poland, and get the chance to win an airline ticket to Poland! In 1926 Poland sent the US a birthday card with 5.5 million signatures! Help us beat this number!

The Ziemia opening takes place in 2018, the centennial of Poland regaining its independence. The United States played a role in securing Poland’s freedom: in 1918, President Woodrow Wilson declared American support for an independent Poland in his Fourteen Points. The Polish Cultural Institute New York considers Ziemia a meaningful symbol of Polish-American relationship and a gift from the Polish community to the New York neighborhood of Greenpoint, which many Poles have called their home.

Ziemia sculpture will be on view in McGolrick Park from June 9 2018 to June 9 2019.
What Defines Greenpoint Identity will be on view from June 9 to September 30 2018.
Ziemia event trailer

2:00 Ecological workshops for kids
3:00-3:20 Inaugural speeches
3:30 – 4:00 Jazz concert: Karolina Beimcik (voice, violin), Rafał Sarnecki (guitar), Matt Aronoff
(double bass)
4:00- 5:00 Jazz by Jesse Lynch Ensemble
2:00- 5:00 Sto Lat, Polska! A Postcard To Poland–You are welcome to say your custom “Happy birthday”
to Poland for the 100th anniversary of Polish independence by using our new web application
4:00- 5:00 picnic with Polish touch bites
Ziemia will be on view in McGolrick Park from June 9, 2018 to June 9, 2019.
What Defines Greenpoint Identity will be on view from June 9, 2018 to September 30, 2018
Press contact: Audra Lambert
PCINY Contact: Izabela Gola
For more information visit:
THE POLISH CULTURAL INSTITUTE NEW YORK was founded in 2000. It is a diplomatic mission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, operating in the area of public diplomacy. The PCI is one of 24 such institutes around the world. It is also an active member of the network of the European Union
National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) in its New York cluster. The Institute’s mission is to disseminate around the world comprehensive knowledge of Poland, Polish history and national heritage, as well as to promote Poland’s contemporary contributions to the success of world culture.

The Institute does so through initiating, supporting and promoting collaboration between Poland and the United States in the areas of art, education, research and in many other aspects of intellectual and social life. The Institute’s main task to ensure Polish participation in the programming of America’s most important cultural institutions as well as in large international initiatives. The Institute works with renowned cultural and academic centers and opinion leaders operating on the American market. Its main partners include such prestigious organizations as Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Museum of Modern Art, PEN American Center, the Poetry Society of America, the National Gallery of Art, Yale University, Columbia University, Princeton University, the Harvard Film Archive, the CUNY Graduate Center, the Julliard School of Music, the New Museum, the Jewish Museum, La MaMa E.T.C. and many others. For more than fifteen years, it has presented Americans the achievements of outstanding Polish artists, including the filmmakers Roman Polanski, Andrzej Wajda and Jerzy Skolimowski; the writers Czeslaw Milosz, Adam Zagajewski and Wislawa Szymborska; the composers Krzysztof Penderecki, Witold Lutosławski and Mikołaj Gorecki; theater artists Krystian Lupa, Jerzy Grotowski and Tadeusz Kantor; the visual artists Krzysztof Wodiczko, Katarzyna Kozyra, Alina Szapocznikow and many other important figures in the arts. The Institute initiates and actively participates in debates around the humanities in the broad sense, including those concerning history and the today’s most important social and political occurrences.

NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks Program
For over 50 years, NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program has brought contemporary public artworks to the city’s parks. The agency has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs. Since 1967, NYC Parks has collaborated with arts organizations and artists to produce over 2,000 public artworks by 1,300 notable and emerging artists in over 200 parks.

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