The organizer of the Bushwick Arts Festival has stepped up to address the “craaaazy comments on the internet” that arose after it was announced that the fest would fill in for Bushwick Open Studios in June.
A few weeks after Arts in Bushwick announced that it was moving its annual studio crawl to October, a post on Bushwick Bomb announced that another, upstart “Bushwick open studios event” would take its place. A swirl of questions arose from some who’ve participated in Bushwick Open Studios in the past. Arts in Bushwick released a statement saying, “It sounds like whoever is behind [Bushwick Arts Festival] are not willing to respect or work with our established arts community of over 1,200 local artists, but are creating a simulation of our community as a commercial space for outsiders or newcomers in the neighborhood who do not know the decade long history of Bushwick Open Studios.”
Yesterday we noted that Brandon Mickman, a freelance web designer, owns the Bushwick Arts Festival domain as well as Bushwickbomb.com. Today the organizer of Bushwick Arts Festival, without offering a name, confessed to also being the creator of Bushwick Bomb.
In a FAQ posted to the site today and sent to us by Mickman, the Bushwick-based organizer of Bushwick Arts Festival claims the initial anonymity was a move to keep the run-up to the three-day event from turning into a “complete circus,” much in the way Raphael Fuchs’s attempt to create a Bushwick 200 list of influencers became “engulfed by racial issues.” The FAQ acknowledges that the “local ‘establishment'” (consisting of “maybe some galleries, and whoever is close friends with the Arts in Bushwick”) might refuse to participate, but insists, “That’s fine! Aren’t art events cooler when they’re underground?” It adds that the festival “respects” Arts in Bushwick and has “zero commercial affiliations, and is not seeking any.”
Read the whole thing here.
Update, 6:50 p.m.: Nicole Brydson, an artist who works with Arts in Bushwick, has sent us the following response.
The artists that show their studios during BOS are the underground, the emerging and the established– to call Arts in Bushwick the ‘establishment’ in this case is laughable, considering any attempt to preserve the first weekend of June as an off brand open studios event is not the will of the artists as expressed across social media and will only serve the commercial interests that pop up, like art fairs criticized for not showing a lot of Bushwick based artists in the past. This is part of the conversation that will be addressed at the March 30 Town Hall at Mayday Space.