In the never-ending migration of NYC artists, Bushwick is the latest, most established frontier. Not yet built-up and bar-filled, its cheap loft spaces beget artists (and twentysomethings) who collaborate and cross pollinate their creative energy.
"I think of Bushwick as what Soho was 30 years ago," says local curator and Chelsea gallery assistant Steve Weintraub. "There was a big artistic community there, and here it's the same way. There's a lot of drive to participate, and a lot of people wanting to come together to do things" -- like Open Spaces this Sunday.
Unlike the three-day Bushwick Open Studios extravaganza this summer, also organized by Arts in Bushwick, this one-day fest will be way more collaborative. The 30+ folks who opened their spaces were asked to invite five or more artists of all stripes to participate in some kind of artmaking or performance. "This is really about engaging the entire community and making it a fun event," says Weintraub, an Arts in Bushwick volunteer.
A trapeze artist, for instance, will be putting on multiple shows in her studio with circus performers and her students (#4 on the brochure, below), and in Weintraub's loft (#19), there will be everything from dancers (amidst floor to ceiling boxes) to a billboard-sized paint by numbers canvas, just waiting for you to color in.
"These aren't galleries. They're events that are happening in people's lofts. It's just a bunch of people getting together, doing what they want to do."
Open Spaces runs from noon till 8, though some spaces will stay open later for live music and comedy (download the brochure here and here). If you go, be sure to stop by Ad Hoc Art (where you can find great, affordable prints), Pocket Utopia (who's hosting a show of Etsy artists), and English Kills (whose last installation was unforgettable). For lunch, try Life Cafe, which catered to East Village artists for years before opening here. There's also a nexus of thrift emporiums on Knickerbocker St. btwn Harrison and Flushing that bring to mind Domsey's -- though sadly, they're not as good as that place used to be.
Also on our radar this weekend:
Disco roller skating! at Studio B this Saturday at 10pm. Last time they ran out of skates in the first half hour, so get there early or buy a $30-$60 pair at Modell's. RSVP at downandderby.org to get in free or pay $7. Bass Ale on the house from 10-11.
"The Face of Nature," by Esty photographer Irene Suchocki, courtesy Pocket Utopia.
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