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On Their Level

Serious art meets the finger-painting set.


Little kids at art exhibits are usually craning their necks from their strollers or perched atop their parents’ shoulders. So, artist Jen Ferguson thought, why not move the pieces down to their eye level? This weekend, her Dumbo space, Art in Chaos, will go completely accessible to under-four-footers. Ferguson will spend the few days before the opening lowering the works to 36 inches above the floor (the usual is 65 to 75 inches). While known for her giant expressionist oils of city landmarks, Ferguson says she amuses herself by painting other pieces that play off nursery rhymes and fairy tales, some two dozen of which will be the basis of this show, “A Is for Art.” (In one watercolor, Humpty Dumpty jumps into a pool; others represent a tea party of baboons and the three billy goats gruff lumbering across the Brooklyn Bridge while a troll spies from below.) How does she plan to enforce the don’t-touch rule? “If a kid touches a painting, it’s not the end of the world,” says Ferguson. “They’re not walking around with a razor blade. Actually, I’m more likely to have an adult touch a painting.” Ferguson is also stocking the gallery with munchkin-size furniture, kid-friendly snacks, and even a low-hung doorbell at the entrance to her fifth-floor loft. The one area that will be off-limits is her work space. “I’m very messy,” she admits. “A teacher told me I’d never be successful because my palette was a mess.” Ah, the perks of being an adult: Nobody makes you clean up your room.

Opening 5/6 from noon to 6 p.m., then every weekend in May; Art in Chaos, 45 Main St., nr. Front St., Ste. 501, Dumbo, Brooklyn (718-222-4860 or; free.


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