nyc makers

There was a substantial population of anti-war activists in the country. “American Firsters” and other non-interventionist groups were well-organized. Then there was the German American Bund. They were all over the place, heavily financed and effective in spewing their propaganda of hate; a fifth column of Americans following the Third Reich party line. They organized pseudo-military training camps such as ‘Camp Siegried’ in Yaphank, Long Island and held huge rallies in such places as Madison Square Garden in New York. Our irreverent treatment of their Feuhrer infuriated them. We were inundated with a torrent of raging hate mail and vicious, obscene telephone calls. The theme was “death to the Jews.” At first we were inclined to laugh off their threats, but then, people in the office reported seeing menacing-looking groups of strange men in front of the building on Forty Second Street and some of the employees were fearful of leaving the office for lunch. Finally, we reported the threats to the police department. The result was a police guard on regular shifts patrolling the halls and office.

No sooner than the men in blue arrived than the woman at the telephone switchboard signaled me excitedly. ‘There’s a man on the phone says he’s Mayor LaGuardia,’ she stammered, ‘He wants to speak to the editor of Captain America Comics.’

I was incredulous as I picked up the phone, but there was no mistaking the shrill voice. ‘You boys over there are doing a good job, ‘ the voice squeaked, ‘The City of New York will see that no harm will come to you.’

—  Joe Simon, in “The Comic Book Makers”, on why America First-ers hated to see a Nazi punched and how a Mayor protected Captain America

Program: Ace AIR
Location: Ace Hotel New York
Date of Stay: 10.01.17
Artist: DB Lampman

On the first night of October, Staten Island-based artist DB Lampman constructed a small box with the label “Things I Worry About.” She then filled it with nearly one hundred drawings and written reflections on assorted paper scraps. DB committed the worries to paper with a vintage typewriter, restored by Michael Ardito of Old Town Type (and fellow member of SIMS). She drew over the type with graphite and sewed some of the pieces of paper together with needle and thread.

“I’ve been working on a series of drawings for a while now that represent worries or anxieties (real and/or imagined) so… I thought it would be perfect to make a box of worries to leave at the hotel. The drawings are small enough to do fairly quickly and gave me an opportunity to explore a bunch of different ideas in a short period of time.”

DB Lampman is an artist who specializes in large-scale sculptural installations, video and performance art. She received her BFA from Maryland Institute, College of Art in 1994 and her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in 1996. DB won a Pollock-Krasner Foundation award in 2000 and is a 2011/2014 recipient of the Premier Grant. Her artwork has been show at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Museo D’ Arte Contemporanea Roma. Her recent projects include Bachmann’s Knot and The Dance as part of the NYC Art in the Parks program. She is the co-founder of Staten Island MakerSpace

This October, Ace AIR is curated by Staten Island MakerSpace, a non-profit community workshop dedicated to building economic growth through innovation. Promoting interdisciplinary creativity and collaboration, SI MakerSpace makes tools and technology accessible to all, regardless of skill level or experience. They sustain artists, inventors, and individual entrepreneurship with low cost access to fabrication equipment, open work spaces, and studios. Supporters of STEAM learning, SI MakerSpace introduces children to careers in science, engineering, and new technologies which create pathways out of poverty.

The Design Interactions Studio is in full swing! Stop by for hands-on fun for all ages through November 14. 

[MoMA Design Interactions Studio (October 21–November 14, 2015). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Gretchen Scott]