What a weekend! It was so inspiring and fun to be able to visit artists studios all over Brooklyn. Here are the highlights of my adventure.
When I’m getting ready to go at 10am, it’s like peak monsoon season out there. I tell myself that it’s only water, straighten up, chin up, chest out, and set off to Greenpoint. The end of Manhattan Avenue by the water is bustling with artists who work in different media. By the time I got there, the rain had stopped, but there were rumors about a tornado touching down near Sheepshead Bay. Oh, you know, that’s how cool we are in Brooklyn. We’ve got crazy numbers of talented artists, tornadoes, the occasional earthquake, and everything in between. And so it began.
The tour was off to an amazing start at Tom Koken’s studio. His Separate series is vibrant, unique and full of light and color. A Greenpoint-based artist for decades, he was an absolute delight to talk to.
Inspired by her own family’s pioneer background, Rachel sculpts faceless pioneer figures and takes them on journeys. The little ghostly figures can be picked up and arranged to create different scenes.
Several trips to Iceland got Itty interested in what happens beneath the surface of icebergs. She explores this mysterious world in her most recent series.
Bill’s studio is also part science lab. On display where the pieces he’s currently working on – which take months and months to create. Each painting has a little gadget that lets out a drop of ink every few hours. Applying his passion for physics to art, Bill creates different effects by changing the undulation of the paper or the distance between the drip and the paper.
After refueling with a lovely brunch at Lokal, I set off to Carroll Gardens to begin my Very Long Walk Back Home.
Belgian artist Charles Bitton creates amazing pieces using very humble materials: blue pen, and paper.
I made a few stops along Gowanus, one of which was the only bummer of the weekend – there were no GO signs at 232 3rd Street, and the doors were locked. So I continued on to Park Slope.
I kind of wanted to take all of Beth’s beautiful ceramics with me. She combines her pottery with other disciplines, like painting and sculpture. Her Dotted collection of bowls, platters and mugs uses red earthenware clay and could brighten the gloomiest of days. The collection is available on her Etsy store and By Brooklyn.
The Plainsong Elegies series begins with leaves that are readily available on our sidewalks. Then Mark recreates them on paper with such delicate detail that it seems like you could pick them up. Mark finishes the frames himself to create a shadow-box look.
Most of Audrey’s work combines ink and thread, giving her pieces a slight tridimensional feel. Grids of color create very unique pieces.
5.1 miles later, I was home.
I set off to Dumbo for both open art studio and Smorgasburg. Art AND good food? Oh joy!
Jasmina’s studio is breathtaking – huge, bright, and full of color. After focusing on monochromatic pieces for a long time, Jasmina is transitioning to landscape painting, bringing in her techniques and color expertise from monochromatic painting. Her ink on paper works are incredible.
The Screwball Spaces building in Redhook is a pretty incredible place. About 100 artists have their studios there, and the place is like a maze – I was very happy to find floor maps on every corner. Michael is the creator of the awesome site Art in Brooklyn, which promotes the work of local artists. His urban landscapes are currently on display at Figureworks.
The nomination period begins tomorrow, and the 10 artists with the most votes will be featured in a show at the Brooklyn Museum, opening December 1st. Thank you to all the artists who opened their doors. It was such a treat. Thanks for letting me snoop around and take photos. And my hat’s off to the Brooklyn Museum for organizing this, free of charge for artists and voters. It would be so awesome if this was an annual event.