50 States and Brooklyn as a Farm: Opening Night

The Invisible Dog in Cobble Hill as 50 STATES: ARKANSAS & POLITICAL GESTURES by Nick Vaughan & Jake Margolin and PLANT(N)ATION: BROOKLYN AS FARM by Iviva Olenick

50 States and Brooklyn as a Farm: Opening Night

The Invisible Dog | Cobble Hill

Two new shows debut at The Invisible Dog in Cobble Hill as 50 STATES: ARKANSAS & POLITICAL GESTURES by Nick Vaughan & Jake Margolin and PLANT(N)ATION: BROOKLYN AS FARM by Iviva Olenick have opening receptions on March 9, 2019.

Houston-based artists Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin present two new pieces, the fifth in their ongoing series of interdisciplinary installations that connect little known LGBTQI2 histories from each state to contemporary queer experiences (50 States: Arkansas) and a five channel video installation featuring drag performers from Eastern Oklahoma (Political Gestures).

50 States: Arkansas focuses on an extraordinary inter-racial same-sex relationship in a small Ozarks town in the 1920s and explores the murkiness of exhuming histories that were intentionally kept secret.

Political Gestures features drag performances of overtly political queer music and lip-synced renditions of queer political speeches, largely from the 1979 March on Washington.

Nick and Jake are a married couple and have lived in Texas and Oklahoma since 2014 whilst researching and developing their 50 States Project. Their research-based practice draws from recent groundbreaking academic work, the artists’ own archival research, and significant time spent learning from and collaborating with local LGBTQ community members. 50 States Arkansas follows the Invisible Dog Art Center premiers of 50 States: Texas, Oklahoma & Colorado (2016) and 50 States: Wyoming (2014).

50 STATES: ARKANSAS & POLITICAL GESTURES; Nick Vaughan & Jake Margolin


Through a sculptural garden installation, local artist, Iviva Olenick is "greening" the exterior of the Invisible Dog, celebrating contributions of native and nonnative plants (and peoples) to the (bio)diversity of Brooklyn through Plant(n)ation: Brooklyn as Farm.

Iviva will adorn the windowsills of the Invisible Dog with a crowd-informed "farm" of textile, decorative, and food crops. Through scheduled and accidental conversations with community members and visitors, Iviva will hear you describe plants you love and miss from your home country and city, or from an earlier version of Brooklyn. Planting the crops most likely to survive, Iviva will curate a windowsill garden as sculptural installation and conversation about the need to honor and include native and nonnative peoples and plants in our ever-evolving community, culture and way of life. Plant(n)ation will debut on March 9, 2019, with new blooms appearing throughout the spring, summer and fall, and public harvests in late summer–fall.

Iviva will be onsite at the Invisible Dog from 6–8pm Saturday, March 9, to introduce the Brooklyn Arts Council-sponsored project. Iviva's textile banner garden simulations will adorn the exterior of the Invisible Dog through May, to be replaced by a farm including plants requested by community members. Visit the artist on Saturday, March 9 to share the names and descriptions of plants you miss from other countries, cities, and states. Iviva will research the likelihood of growing them in Brooklyn, and consider adding them to the vertical farm.

Iviva Olenick is a Brooklyn-born and based artist and educator. She has exhibited her handcrafted works with Muriel Guepin Gallery, NYC since 2008. Additional exhibition venues include the Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling, NYC; Museum of Design Atlanta, GA; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; Wyckoff House Museum, Brooklyn, NY; the Center for Book Arts, NYC, among others. Iviva has received several Community Arts Fund grants from the Brooklyn Arts Council to support community-engaged projects, and from Puffin Foundation West.