As we noted last week, the Timeshare Backyard at 145 Ludlow Street is back for a second summer, and it celebrated the start of its season with some fresh coats of paint last Friday. The grassy lot between Orchard and Rivington streets welcomed the public to watch four street artists go to work on the brick walls surrounding the yard, already home to some distinctive graffiti.
“We tried to be really respectful of what was there,” said Jessica Resler, one of the founders of the Participation Agency, the group that runs the Backyard. “There’s definitely a lot that’s existing. But it’s great that a lot of people got to see this street art being made. People were saying, ‘It’s amazing someone can do that with a paint can.’”
Sheryo and Daek One, artists hailing from Singapore and Australia respectively, featured their international flair alongside Southerners-turned-Brooklynites Never and William Fletcher III. The installations were curated by Crest Arts, an offshoot of Brooklyn-based company Crest Hardware, which first partnered with the Participation Agency last year. The artworks will remain at least throughout the summer.
The event was the first in a series of free “Fuze Friday” activites for the general public, sponsored by beverage company Fuze and slated through the end of August. While the Backyard is rented for private use most weekend evenings, the Participation Agency hopes free events will foster community involvement at the outdoor space.
“We’re an experiential agency, creating projects that create brand engagement,” said Resler. “Participation is a big word for us, obviously.” Anyone hoping to join the free festivities can RSVP via Facebook, and then show up between 2-8 p.m. While last Friday’s event offered visitors a chance to see artists at work, the Backyard will usually host more hands-on activities for guests, including a tie dye workshop this week and opportunities to play casual sports.
Aside from Fuze Fridays, Timeshare Backyard is already enjoying a busy season. Weekend time slots have been booked up quickly, especially in the later evening hours. In fact, Resler thought she would discontinue the Timeshare Backyard after last summer, but an overwhelming number of inquiries convinced her otherwise. “We considered not doing it again, not because it wasn’t successful, but it’s a costly, time-consuming project for us,” she said. But she began to receive more than 20 emails a day about the Backyard, and decided to lease the property for summer 2012. “We didn’t want to let people down,” she explained.
Last summer, some residents near the Timeshare Backyard complained that renters were excessively noisy at night, attracting the concerns of Community Board 3 and the local police precinct. This summer, however, the lot will close at 8 p.m. in order to rectify that issue.
This year also brings an increase in the yard’s hourly rates—from $50 dollars to $100—but Resler says the price change will actually save many renters money. In the past, the Participation Agency asked parties to pay for additional amenities like chairs and a grill; now, the hourly price buys an all-inclusive experience. “With the add-ons, the price could be up to $400 dollars,” she said. “We learned a lot from last year. The rental fee is more expensive, but you get a lot more.” That includes hammocks, squirt guns, lounge chairs, and of course, the street art, featured in more photos below.