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Meet The Artists Of This Weekend’s Bushwick Open Studios In Brooklyn (We’ll Be There!)

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Many different kinds of creative types have been flocking to Bushwick and turning this working/middle-class neighborhood in northern Brooklyn into an artistic hub.

This weekend, its artistic side will be on display to the general public for viewing through the annual Bushwick Open Studios (BOS).

BOS is the ninth installment of Arts in Bushwick’s annual festival that celebrates this section’s vibrant culture. Attending is one of the best things to do in Bushwick.

As part of this three-day arts-pallooza, visual artists, performers, musicians and designers will open the doors of their working spaces for the general public on Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 6, from noon to 7 p.m, which the launch party and exhibition Friday night at Pine Box Rock Shop.

Along with Bushwick, this open house includes sections of East Williamsburg, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Ridgewood (Queens).

To help get you inspired for the event, let us introduce you to three of this year’s participating talent (and make sure to check out their work at the event!).

Deborah_Brown_Marquise_2014_oil on canvas_70 X 80 inches
Credit: Deborah Brown

Deborah Brown

“The festival is a celebration of what we have created as artists working together,” said Deborah Brown, one of the festival’s early organizers in 2007 and also opening up her studio in East Williamsburg Industrial Business Zone this year. “It is also an opportunity to meet visitors interested in learning more about the resources and dynamics of our diverse community.”

A student of art history and literature, Brown’s work references Classical and Baroque sculpture, 18th-century paintings and 19th-century novels. During BOS ‘15, Brown will show paintings at her studio inspired by the tradition of formal portraiture and history pieces examining costumes, coiffures and convention of self-presentation in these genres. Her paintings also reflect influences ranging from Cubism to African and Oceanic tribal objects.

With her location, Brown explained that she liked working here “because I am surrounded by makers of things,” said Brown of her location. “It’s a diverse, gritty neighborhood, not yet dominated by artists. It has an authentic feel that you don’t see very often anymore in New York, a throwback to another time.”

In addition to practicing her own artistry, Brown also owns and directs the gallery Storefront Ten Eyck in Brooklyn and sits on NURTUREart, the artist advisory board of BRIC, a nonprofit arts organization. Her public art projects include MTA commissioned mosaics for the Manhattan’s Houston Street subway station and roundels for the Royal Caribbean Cruise Terminal at the Port of Miami for Miami-Dade Art in Public Places.

Besides being in her studio, Brown will be joining gallerist Lesley Heller in putting on an outdoor sculpture show on Rock Street, owned by Boars Head.

Credit: Nancy Baker

Nancy Baker

For her second year with BOS ’15, Brooklyn native Nancy Baker will be working out of a studio in the 56 Bogart Street building. “I’m told [it’s] the mother of all open studios. Last year my studio was in Brooklyn Fireproof, and that was hugely crowded.”

At her “epic” studio, Baker plans to show her latest paper constructions and paintings that she has curated in her space. Her detailed paper constructions result from a process of combining hand and laser cut geometric forms based loosely on machine components.

Since her youth, Baker was influenced by art. Her mother was a painter and her father was a photographer, and her daughter is an artist as well. Baker herself has been the recipient of three state fellowships — two in North Carolina and one in Tennessee — and a National Endowment of the Art award. Her work has been featured in many museum show and solo exhibits in New York and Los Angeles.

Having moved back to Brooklyn after a 20-year stint in North Carolina, Baker credits the region’s creative vibe in encouraging artists to thrive.

“There is an unbelievable energy and camaraderie here in Brooklyn, really unlike anything I’ve experienced before. Artists help each other because they know that it’s the only way this will work,” she explained. “It requires a lot of chutzpah to keep going in Brooklyn, but if you are willing to take advantage of everything that is here, the results can be mind blowing.”

Credit: Christopher Stout

Christopher Stout

At his second-floor studio in the Brooklyn Fire Proof artist warehouse on Ingraham Street, abstract minimalist Christopher Stout will be marking his fifth year at BOS. This time, he will be showing his work alongside painters Scott Robinson and Meredith Hoffheins.

Stout’s method involves the use of cement and shredded writing on linen on board. During this past year, he’s expanded his materials to sometimes including plaster moldings in place of cement. Recently Stout finished up “A.O.,” an April/May solo exhibit at ArtHelix Gallery in Bushwick, which included a fair booth with ArtHelix at Select Fair during Frieze NYC Art Fair week.

He’s also keeping busy as the founder of Bushwick Art Crit Group (BACG), a nonprofit art think tank that will be doing an art presentation during BOS.  His start with art came during his junior year of college when he took private lessons and encouraged him to switch from studying law to art.

“Visual art gives me the ability to invent creative intellectual property,” explained Stout. Then Stout went onto San Francisco, where he found his artistic voice.

In describing BOS, Stout noted it’s “a totally different animal” than gallery hopping or visiting a museum. “Participants get direct and personal access to real artists in their natural working environments You get to see artwork in all stages of process and ask questions about it. It’s real and unedited.”

Where To Go During BOS ’15

BOS ’15 Hubs include Panoply Performance Laboratory, Studio 301 NYC, SHWICK, Outpost, Allison Eden Studios, The Cobra Club, The Buggy Factory (14 Kossuth Place), Tony’s Pizza, Wilson’s (164 Wilson Avenue), Norte Maar, Outlet, I.M.A.G.E. Gallery (1501 Broadway), and Pine Box Rock Shop. Detailed profiles of participating artists can be found on Arts in Bushwick’s online artist directory and the AiB mobile app. Printed maps and event calendars will also be available at designated hub locations throughout the area.

BOS 2015 will kick off with a launch party and Seeking Space Exhibition on Friday, June 5, at 8 p.m. at Be Electric Studios. Seeking Space will also be on view during BOS from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The BOS Community Day, a family-friendly event, happens Saturday, June 6, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Maria Hernandez Park on Knickerbocker Avenue at Starr Street. Rain location is at Hope Gardens Community Center, 422 Central Ave.

The weekend will close with a party and a Cinema Sunday event on Sunday, June 7, from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Bushwick Community Darkroom, 110 Troutman St.

Best of all, all events are free and open to the public.

Will you be at Bushwick Open Studios? If so, let us know in the comments, as Bushwick is where Epicure & Culture is headquartered. You’ll definitely see us there!

Michele Herrmann

Michele Herrmann splits her time between New England and New York City, and has gotten much better at packing light with her back and forth trips. She has jaunted across Europe and up, down and across the United States and even as far as the South Pacific. She's grateful for being able to dispense travel stories and advice through media outlets and companies (as well as putting her BA in English to good use). Her blog She Is Going Places serves as her way to encourage others to get out and exploring!

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1 Comment

  1. Pleased to be participating in Centotto’s BOS exhibit, Thrice Legendary, or Forever Thens. Stop by Centotto at 250 Moore Street on Saturday, 6 June, from 2-6 pm.×36+2015+-+IMGL0512+-+Copy.jpg?format=750w

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