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Comedian Amy Phoeler, politician Nancy Pelosi, and Glee’s Chris Colfer are among the leading names in the lineup for this year’s weekend-long New Yorker Festival. What’s on offer for visual arts fans? Lucky participants will have a shot at taking a tour of 8 Spruce Street with Frank Gehry and a before-hours tour of the Frick Collection with critic Peter Schjeldahl, among several other art opportunities to be featured at the festival, which runs from September 30 to October 2.

This year’s artist-writer conversations include architect Shigeru Ban, who most recently designed the Aspen Art Museum, and literary critic Judith Thurman as well as art scribe Schjeldahl and art collector Steve Martin. (Considering precedent, we think it’s safe to assume that the audience will be slightly more prepared than that at the 92nd Street Y for the conversation to be art-related.)

“About Town” excursions will include a tour of 8 Spring Street led by starchitect Frank Gehry featuring a discussion with New Yorker architecture critic Paul Goldberger and a drawing demonstration from realist painter Jacob Collins followed by a conversation with writer Adam Gopnik. Photographers Mary Ellen Mark and Martin Schoeller, featured contemporaneously in the Howard Greenberg Gallery exhibit “Beyond Words: Photography in The New Yorker,” will chat with recently-departed New Yorker visuals editor Elisabeth Biondi over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Finally, Peter Schjeldahl will lead his fourth-annual tour of the Frick Collection before the museum opens.

The visual arts will also be represented at the intriguing “Sleuths” panel. Oxford’s world-renowned art history professor Martin Kemp, who helped attribute a recently-rediscovered Christ portrait to Leonardo da Vinci, will join an all-star panel including ex-CIA agent Robert Baer and ex-NYPD officer William Oldham, most famous for exposing the collusion between two cops and the New York City mafia. Reporter David Grann, who did some sleuthing of his own to expose the dubious methods of forensic art expert Peter Paul Biro, will moderate.

Times and locations will be announced September 5.

[Source: ArtInfo.com]