Northside Open Studios 2011
By Rhoni Blankenhorn for COMPANY
(June 20, 2011) Because we enjoyed Bushwick Open Studios so much, we made our way to Williamsburg and Greenpoint for the third annual Northside Open Studios. A joint effort between Greenpoint Open Studios and L magazine, this four day festival was a collaborative effort between artists, organizations, businesses and volunteers in celebration of the burgeoning art community in this part of town. Hundreds of artists shared their work, and BAM, Animation Bloc Party, IFC and rooftop films put together a stellar lineup of screenings. Plus, there were over 300 cutting edge musicians added to the mix. Some visual highlights include Fowler Arts Collective, Like the Spice, Front Room, Yes Gallery, and Hyperallergic's HQ. We trekked through BK like roving explorers, seeing as many galleries and open studios as we could handle. The day was definitely tiring because everything was spread out – but it was definitely worth it. NOS was an exemplary event that highlighted some of the edgiest art, and definitely an essential community of emerging artists. We can’t wait to see what happens next year.
We stopped by the Hyperallergic headquarters to see their mail art show, curated by the cool Kate Wadkins. We were definitely impressed with the contributions people made from around the world, and by the capacity of the U.S. post to deliver unusual mail, including bottles, fortune cookies, strangely shaped packages - you name it. It was definitely a hands-on show, and visitors were encouraged to explore each of the works.
Fowler Arts Collective is located in a warehouse on the east river. This collective was brimming with beautiful and poignant works of varied mediums – everything from prints and paint to woven newsprint and embroidered pick up lines. Kim Sielbeck, Hannah Lamar Simmons, and Aya Kakeda are some artists we liked from here.
The Pencil Factory houses 5 whole floors of artist studios. We made friends with Fleaheart, an independent screen print company. Leif Parson’s works caught our eye as well, and we can’t wait to check out his sculpture at Socrates Sculpture Park.
Our love of Jason Bard Yarmosky’s paintings turned us onto this gallery, and we weren’t disappointed. Jenny Morgan’s figurative works left us a little unsettled and hungry for more.
We found this artist-rungallery through Fountain Art Fair, and were thrilled to see their space in BK. Travis LeRoy Southworth's spit-wad installation, reminiscent of cave formations, was the ultimate combination beautiful and downright nasty.
We loved Ross Racine’s hypnotic digital drawings at Front Room Gallery.
In addition to their gallery space, Scott Chasse constructed a mini-gallery on Bedford Avenue for Ugly Art Room, in conjunction with Williamsburg Walks. This awkwardly sized shack-like construction is emblematic of Ugly’s ongoing mission to challenge the white box gallery tradition.
Last but definitely not least, Brooklyn Street Artist Skewville, aka. Ad Deville, created a huge piece on N. 11th between Wythe and Berry. The piece is entitled "Last Exit To Skewville," and is a citiscape of intrigue and sly humor.