Bushwick Open Studios kicks off Friday, May 30 and when we hit publish on this story there were 616 studios, shows and events listed on the BOS website. That’s a lot of art. Way more than you can absorb in one weekend. So we asked some local artists, gallery owners, art journalists and resident experts which events they think are the best bets, to make the whole thing a little less overwhelming. And, if you’re looking for a place to stop and refuel, here are a few Bushwick restaurants we like, add to that Montana’s Trail House, Union Pizza Works (get the focaccia pizza) and The Rookery.
Meryl Meisler, an artist and educator known for her photographs of Bushwick from the 1980s, is launching her book, A Tale of Two Cities: Disco Era Bushwick, and exhibiting some of the fantastic photos from it at Bizarre Black Box Gallery (12 Jefferson St.), where there will also be parties and events throughout the weekend. “There are lots of great performances and live events every evening,” says Meisler. “After most studios close for the day, the night is filled with performances and festivals.” Here are her picks:
BYO Art, The Living Gallery, 1094 Broadway; 6pm-10pm Friday, May 30; 1pm-6pm, Saturday, May 31; 1pm-5pm Sunday, June 1 “To see a sampling from dozens of artists who will be showing all over Bushwick, check out The Living Gallery BYO installation,” Meisler says. “Each artist can hang one piece and then you can check off who you want to see.”
Bridging Bushwick Sculpture Garden, 900 Broadway; noon to 7pm, Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1 “There are so many famous and upcoming artists, let’s not forget the youth,” Meisler says. “See the exhibit by the AiB High School Fellows Program and performances by Educated Little Monsters (ELM). Brooklyn Acts! Will be performing at the Bridging Bushwick Sculpture Garden.”
Elle Burchill and Andrea Monti founded Microscope Gallery, a 500-square-foot former auto parts shop in Bushwick in 2010. They present time-based artists–video, performance and mixed media–through exhibitions, screenings and other events. This weekend their gallery will be home to SOAP, by Matt Town, a 16mm film installation that also features sculpture and photographs, with a special reception with the artist from 2pm to 5pm on Saturday. Here are their other BOS recommendations:
Thomas Dexter, in his studio at 1381 Myrtle Ave., 3A, entrance on Himrod St.; 1pm-6pm Saturday May 31 and Sunday, June 1 “He is one of the most interesting artists out here working with moving image, including video and multiple 16mm projector pieces in which he explores ways to compose sound with light,” Burchill and Monti say.
Ellie Irons, in the courtyard at Silent Barn, 603 Bushwick Ave., 1pm-7pm Saturday, May 31, and Sunday, June 1 “Ellie Irons makes works in multiple mediums including drawing, painting, installation and video dealing with ecology and pollution in works that are surprisingly delicate and even beautiful,” say Burchill and Monty. Irons will be planting courtyard beds to cultivate materials for making watercolor paints. There will be an artist talk and garden tour at 2pm on Sunday, and Burchill notes that Irons will be in the garden throughout BOS.
Tyrome Tripoli, Tripoli Studio, 114 Wilson Ave., garage; Sunday, June 1, 1pm-5pm This long-term Bushwick artist works with sculpture and installations created out of discarded plastic, rubber and other materials. “He is an artist who is consistently pushing the possibilities of the materials he’s working with,” say Burchill and Monti.
“We’d also recommend checking out Michelle Matson’s sculptures in Show #10 at The Parlour Bushwick (791 Bushwick Ave.), and the grand opening of Pseudo Empire, a new space at 467 Troutman Street whose first two exhibitions look promising and seem to reveal an interest in the grey areas among different disciplines,” say the Microscope Gallery duo.
Brooklyn Street Art is a blog and app dedicated to documenting public art, street art, graffiti and urban art, in the street, in studios and in galleries. They’ve recommended stopping in at Norte Maar, an arts non-profit in Bushwick where you can pick up a map of BOS, and view the private art collection of Jason Andrew, Norte Maar’s founder.
Norte Maar, 83 Wyckoff Ave., 1B; 11am-7pm Saturday, May 31 and Sunday June 1
“Norte Maar has been a unique force in the evolution of the arts scene in Bushwick,” say Jaime Rojo and Steven Harrington of BSA. “Free of the posturing characterized by rountables and panels, Norte Maar began its programming by involving the public and the neighbors, showing leadership and piquing curiousity thanks to co-founder/director Jason Andrew. For BOS 2014 Jason is giving you a chance to explore your voyeuristic side by opening his private collection of art comprised of local Bushwick artists, including drawing, mixed media, painting, photography, and sculpture. Oh yes, he’ll welcome you at the door with a mimosa. GO!”
Katarina Hybenova is the editor of Bushwick Daily, chronicler of Bushwick and one of the sponsors of BOS. “Bushwick Daily has prepared its second annual print, curated guide to BOS called No BS BOS,” Hybenova says. “Come pick it up at the yard of French-Vietnamese restaurant Falansai. We have prepared an oasis amidst the BOS craziness–soft acoustic music, photography show by BD contributing photographers, tarot readers and free goodies from local sponsors. On Sunday at 7pm, don’t miss a reading from Bushwick Daily’s upcoming book, Bushwick Nightz, a collection of short fiction from the hood.” She also recommends checking out:
Slideluck Bushwick III, Sandbox Studios, 154 Morgan Ave., #4; 8pm, Saturday, May 31 “Slideluck earned its international fame for their nights of a simple yet very pleasurable concept: a slideshow of art combined with awesome food and drink,” Hybenova says. “For BOS Saturday, they have prepared something a mix of Baltimore and Bushwick artists and musicians.”
Disco Era Bushwick: A Tale of Two Cities, Bizarre Black Box Gallery, 12 Jefferson St., Saturday, May 31, 8pm “Iconic photographer of Bushwick since the 1980’s, Meryl Meisler [see Meisler’s picks above] is launching her first photography book in collaboration with Bizarre Publishing (yes, bar Bizarre has now also a publishing company for photography books), and will launch it with a big disco-styled night on Saturday,” Hybenova says. “Expect drag queens, disco music and a ton of stunning photography.”
Bushwick Collective Block Party, Troutman St. between St. Nicholas and Wyckoff, 11am to 7pm, Sunday, June 1 “The third annual block party organized by famous Bushwick Collective that is responsible for almost all awesome Bushwick street art, should not be missed,” Hybenova says. “On Sunday expect bands, food trucks, giveaways, live painting and good times! What an event to wind down the festival.”
Do It Yourself, 195 Morgan (in the former 3rd Ward space); 6pm-9pm Friday, May 30; noon to 7pm Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1 “Artist Julie Torres has organized an amazing collaboration of international and Bushwick artists,” Hybenova says. “Ten visiting artists have curated a show of their Bushwick counterparts. Located in former 3rd Ward building, expect a ton of wonderful abstract painting.”
Gwendolyn Skaggs is an artist and the founder of SUGAR (449 Troutman Street, #3-5), an artist-run art space. This weekend her work will be alongside pieces by David B. Frye and Patrick Mangan in a show called, Things are
not always what they seem at SUGAR on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5pm. Here are the other shows she recommends:
Bushwick Open: Twenty-three Artists from In and Around, 386 Jefferson St., ground floor garage; 6pm-10pm, Friday, May 30; noon to 9pm, Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1 This group show is one of Skaggs’ top picks, showcasing a number of local and national artists in one room. Participants from Bushwick include Martin Diegelman, Art Guerra, Maciek Jasik, Richard Kostelanetz, Liv Mette Larsen, Seren Morey, Chelsey Pettyjohn, Vincent Romaniello, Gwendolyn C. Skaggs, Jacqueline Lou Skaggs, Doug Young, and Edye Weissler.
Keyed Up in Bushwick, 56 Bogart St., studio 4G; noon to 7pm, Saturday 31 and Sunday, June 1
This group show is organized by Patricia Zarate and hosted at Carol Salmanson’s studio. It features work by Vincent Como, Sara Russell Dewey, Steve Karlik, and Alex Paik. Como, a Brooklyn-based artist, is known for his focus on the color black as his subject and his material. While you’re there, also check out Art Guerra and Seren Morey, second floor, room #222. Known for their paint and pigmentation, these artists are sure to produce some stunning work. “This is a must see,” says Skaggs.
Daniel Derwelis, 63 Woodward Ave, #2412, second floor; noon to 6pm, Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1 This Brooklyn-based artist produces paintings that capture a moment in time, usually focused around human subjects. “The show is off the beaten path, as most great things are, but well worth the walk,” Skaggs says. Stay around and check out the other artists in the building as well.