Brooklyn Open Studios
A multitude of art events fills the month of June in Brooklyn and makes a promising beginning to the summer viewing season. First off are the Open Studios events on June 1st and 2nd in both Red Hook & Carroll Gardens and in Bushwick . This is quickly followed on June 8 & 9th with the SONYA stroll covering the neighborhoods of Ft. Greene, Clinton Hill, and the eastern edge of Bed-Stuy. Also the weekend of June 8th, be sure not to miss "Crest Fest," at the legendary Williamsburg Crest Hardware store featuring hundreds of artists, musical performances and vendors. The Northside Festival happens throughout the next weekend, June 13-20th in Williamsburg and boasts over 350 musical acts, over 50 films, and promises the takeover of Bedford Avenue on June 15-16th with interactive installations, sculpture, graffiti and painting performances. Make Music NY Festival rounds out the month, occurring on June 21st and promising over a 1000 concerts in impromptu venues, including art spaces.
Dozens of artists are participating in the Red Hook and Carroll Gardens Open Studios tours the first weekend of June, among them the talented Hiroshi Kumagai, who creates engaging figurative works with intricately cut vinyl and Liz Mitty, who makes lively oil paintings inspired by the detritus and chaos of the urban environs. Also a part of the event, BWAC (499 Van Brunt St.) shows "Wide Open 4", their fourth annual national juried art show, including works by over 100 artists.
That same weekend and a bit further both, The Bushwick Open Studios event, now in its 7th year, offers open studios by 600+ artists, downloadable maps, a music festival, and a community mural. Among the many spaces I'm keen to visit is the studio of Björn Meyer-Ebrecht, whose angular, conceptual work straddles the divides between painting, sculpture, and installation. The curious promise of a collaborative installation using found objects, painting and running water will have me visiting the studios of Jessica Hargreaves and Kathleen Vance and an open-studios specific installation of a Bayeux Tapestry inspired painting, encircling an entire room, will have me popping into artist Meg Lipke's space.
An additional point of interest during the festival would include BABZ Fair, the Bushwick Art Book and Zine Fair, featuring publications by artists and publishers based in and around Bushwick, hosted by Blonde Art Books (inside Schema Projects, 92 St. Nicholas Ave.). I'm also itching to visit the future home of Storefront Bushwick (324 Ten Eyck St.) where there will be four exhibitions mounted for Bushwick Open Studios including artist/owner Deborah Brown's own open studios, "Epic Fail" an architecture focused group show curated by artists Erik Benson and Frank Webster, the work of artist Shamus Clisset, and a performance exhibition by New Zealand artist Matthew Cowan, presented by NURTUREart.
Promising 70 artists and a number of art supportive businesses and organizations, the SONYA stroll includes many fine artists including the painter and curator Elisabeth Condon, vibrant abstract painter Peter Schroth, and painter Michael Miller, whose abstract compositions lean toward the symphonic.. The weekend also includes a community mural, artist designed panels along the Myrtle Avenue, and at least two artist-designed pianos from the Sing for Hope Piano Project.
While information is still forthcoming about the Northside Art Festival and the event line-up for Make Music NY, we do know that The Front Room Gallery (147 Roebling) will be hosting Mark Stillwell, for an evening of music, performative sculpture and very high energy entertainment.