Hurray! A new month is upon us, and hopefully it will finally bring beautiful days and long nights filled with rooftop parties, bbqs, and of course, gallery openings! This weekend Bushwick embraces the month of May (which everyone knows means we are quickly creeping up on BOS!) with 5 unbelievable events that are all about discovery, new beginnings, and identity that are sure to get you ready to start your month off right. So don’t worry, be happy!

#1 An Evening of Contrasts: Jake Dibeler and Katya Grokhovsky @ Grace Exhibition Space (FRI, doors at 9PM, $5-15 suggested donation)

Grace Exhibition Space will kick this month off with the dissonant styles of performerance artists Jake Dibeler and Katya Grokhovsky. Of Dibeler’s performance, Philadelphia Weekly writes that it’s “Like a full-throated rendition of your favorite pop song in a sleazy bar… [it] may have the veneer of naive optimism but they twang with the dissonance of an emotional breakdown.” Grokhovsky’s performance on the other hand is about a search for her own identity while also confronting universal issues of time, endurance, identity and gender construction.

#2 Bad Credit: Drawings and Paintings by Mike Taylor @ Wayfarers (FRI, 7-10PM)

Mike Taylor (courtesy of wayfarers)

Mike Taylor’s drawings and paintings take their cues from pop culture, incorporating a illustrator/comic-like quality to address these commercial inclinations head-on. In this exhibition,  Talor specifically focuses his works on the South, where he was brought up, through a poignant critique of race relations, recent economic woes, and of course the hypocritical concept of “southern charm” that often excludes anyone seen as an outsider.  By addressing his lens towards his own background, this show is sure to be full of the jabbing humor, contemporary critique that his work typically possesses, but this time tinged by his own personal experience.

#3 Dancing Queen @ Fresh Window (FRI, 7-9PM)

Jennifer Gustavson, Not Yet Titled, 2013

The works of the five women included in the group exhibition Dancing Queen are drastically different, yet all approach various feminine tropes of identity and maturation. Each artist’s work possesses a retro sense of what it means to be a girl – I imagine a twelve year old growing up in the ’80s, blasting Abba while dancing on her bed – yet also address more universal tropes such as displacement, personal relationships, and alienation from a place we used to call home.  For instance, Margaret Coleman’s porcelain “stuffed animals”  have the appearance of something comforting left over from childhood, yet are cold and unfamiliar in this new medium.  Jennifer Gustavson work meanwhile confronts many specific aspects of the “American dream,” in light of the current economic situation, utilizing found and collected materials that possess significant cultural signifiers that are easily decodified and familiar. Gustavson flips them on their head in the way they are combined and displayed so that the typical emotion attached vanishes. Still a relatively “fresh” gallery, Fresh Window has definitely got our attention!

#4 #ArtistsBeLike @ NURTUREart (FRI, 7-9PM)

Paul Wiersbinski, ‘Economy of Attention,’ 2013 (courtesy of NUTUREart)

Project Curate is back, and with it, NURTUREart presents an exhibition conceived and organized by a group of advanced students from Juan Morel Campos High School and this year’s curator-mentor, Loney Abrams, co-director of and In a very of-the-moment exhibition, Abrams and her students have pulled together artists that address our current environment that is riddled by technology, media and advertising; an age where where most everything could be art but isn’t, or is art but doesn’t look like it. For this generation that truly grew up on the web, they will be the next generation showing us what art is.

#5 Identity Performance Night @ Loft 594 (FRI, 7-10PM)

Loft 594 kicks off its self-proclaimed Identity Month with a special one-night and FREE performance event. The night will feature work by Rebecca Posner, Eleanor Bostwick, Francesca Fiore, Katie Killary, Judith Shimer, The Sneaky Mister, Britta Wheeler, Kate Bonsted, and Katie Urban. While the actual events of the evening are very hush hush, I’ve heard from an inside source that there will be a musical performance, image projections, and even an elevated rope tying, so definitely not to be missed!