There’s been a bit of a stir surrounding this year’s Bushwick Open Studios. Firstly, they’ve been moved to this coming weekend instead of their usual summertime. There’s been a changing of hands in regards to who’s in charge, and supposedly a renewed focus on connecting with longtime locals rather than just hip, social-media-savvy (mostly white) artists and parties sponsored by Tumblr. The time has come to see how things have changed, and how they might’ve stayed the same. The jam-packed weekend can get overwhelming. Aside from all the artist studios that’ll be open (reason for the season), here are some highlights that might be worth your while.
Brooklyn Cartoonists and Illustrators
At Kavé Espresso Bar, 1087 Flushing Avenue. Opening Friday September 30, 6:30 pm to 10 pm.
Some art is serious, others less so. Get tickled at this show of cartoons and illustrations from a handful of Brooklyn-based artists who use their snappy artistic skill to create work that comments on the life and oddities of the borough they reside in. All the artists have varied (er, colorful? like cartoons?) lives and seem to be at work on several types of projects in addition to their artistic practice showcased here. To start, Swiss artist Lucio Zago is creating a graphic novel about Williamsburg’s history, Ellis Rosen has illustrated children’s books, and Kaitlin O’Connor has worked as a textiles designer. You can also get yourself good and animated with an open bar courtesy of Lagunitas and local shop Henry’s Wine and Spirits.
At 395 Johnson Avenue. Opening Friday September 30, 7 pm to 11 pm. On view Saturday through Sunday, 11am to 7 pm.
The Shwick Market was a short-lived Bushwick “maker’s market,” which to the dismay of some does not involve some sort of innovative serving of Maker’s Mark. As a resurgence of this spirit, the Shwick-produced ArtMart seeks to showcase (and sell) art and creations of all forms, from candles and clothes to small-batch ice cream and craft beer. Friday’s reception features drinks, DJs, a performance by the band Circles/Waves (who’s lead singer is also selling custom clothing at ArtMart), and more.
Bushwick Handicraft Fine Art Collective
At The Loom, 1087 Flushing Avenue. Opening Friday September 30, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view Saturday and Sunday, noon to 6 pm.
The inaugural show of this new craft-centric art collective needs your help to exist: fittingly, they are taking over the entranceway of the Loom shopping center, which used to be a textile mill. Three artists will show their work in addition to facilitating a “communal fort” that will be constructed out of fabric scraps, handwritten notes, clothes, quilts, and whatever else you may like to bring along. The opening features free zines and a performance by “Brooklyn’s folk fantasy ensemble” Cookie Tongue.
At Venus Knitting Art Space, 122 Harrison Place. Opening Friday September 30, 7 pm to 10 pm. Performance beginning at 7 pm.
Etty Yaniv curates this hefty group show of Bushwick artists that work in mediums from sculpture to collage with subject matter that ranges from cityscapes to “DNA portraits.” At the opening there will be a performance by Mary Ivy Martin, who caught media attention back in February for turning discarded Christmas trees into costumes and wearing them around the city. Her piece for “Bushwick Tales” will be similar in form, but with less roaming. Martin’s studio will also be open for the weekend from noon to 7 pm at 114 Forrest Street.
Bizarre: Assorted Madness and the Unexpected
At Bizarre Bushwick, 12 Jefferson Street. Opening party Saturday October 1, 7 pm to 4 am.
Located a stone’s throw from the Myrtle-Broadway station, Bizarre has been a haven for strange performance, from drag king nights to fire performers and weirdo interactive performance-art variety shows, where you might never know quite what you’ll see. The two owners (Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire and Gregory Baubeau) are both also filmmakers, and have joined forces with longtime Bushwick documentarian Meryl Meisler (who also has a BOS show at nearby Stout Projects) to document the art hosted at this bar and exhibit these photos in the very space they were taken. Bizarre has exhibited Meisler’s photos on several occasions before and is the publisher of her two photography books. This isn’t just an opening reception, it’s a party and it’s going late. Stop by early for the open absinthe punch and beer bar from 7 pm to 8 pm.
Seeking Space: Making the Future
At David & Schweitzer Contemporary, 56 Bogart Street. Opening Saturday September 30, 6 pm to 10 pm.
This show is the official Bushwick Open Studios open call exhibit, which coincides with the beginning of BOS and the release of Arts in Bushwick’s first book effort, a 400-page hardcover tome entitled Making History Bushwick. The centerpiece of the exhibition will be Loren Munk’s Bushwick Map painting, done in 2015 and potraying some of the areas and spaces that the artist feels shaped the Bushwick scene into what it is today. I wonder how many of them are still around?
Idio’s No Borders in the Desert
At Idio Gallery, 976 Grand Street. Opening Saturday October 1, 4 pm to 9 pm.
Gallery and DIY space IDIO will be presenting a new collection of work by their favorite artists (some of which they’ve exhibited before, in shows such as the colorful all-female show “Phantasmagoria”) that also serves as a meditation on hospitality, something that art spaces can be hubs of. Both their upstairs gallery and downstairs space will be open and vibrant, and the opening reception welcomes guitar-driven music by Jessica Ackerley and a performance by Lucy Kerr.
At 28 Varick Avenue. Studio open 12 pm to 4 pm, Saturday October 1.
Artist Natalie Baxter‘s studio will be open, with free beers to boot. An artist with a penchant for color and squishy stuff, she will be showing an array of “warm guns” and “bloated flags,” most likely stuffed, cartoonish, and larger-than-life, made using sewing skills inherited from her grandmother.
Marina Ross + Catherine Pearson
At 1087 Flushing Avenue, Apt 212. Open Saturday and Sunday, 12 pm to 7 pm.
Painter Kelsey Shwetz‘s curatorial project Nancy Daum will be showing the work of these two fellow painters, one based in Iowa, the other in New York. Expect vibrant strokes, abstract figures, and warm hues.
Pussyfoot: A 3 Woman Show
At Club 157, 157 Manhattan Avenue. Opening Friday September 30, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view Saturday and Sunday, 12 pm to 6 pm.
Say what? While some of this group show’s promo imagery have implied something more lewd, “pussyfoot” actually means “to act in a cautious or noncommittal way.” Because this show features the work of three women, perhaps it’s commenting on society’s notions of women as passive, especially because many of them create literally two-dimensional pieces. But also, some of these pieces were made using the artists’s actual vaginas as inspiration. Isn’t it great when art multitasks? Even the space itself has duality, as it’s also an apartment.
Méxtasis: Se Habla Arte Mexicano
At 476 Jefferson Street. Opening party Friday September 30, 6:30 pm to 9 pm. Artist talk with curators and Cinthya Santos Briones on Saturday at noon.
Fourteen intergenerational Mexican artists will be showing work in this show curated by Ilaria Conti, Barbara Calderón, and Dulce Pinzón. While some of the shows in BOS center around local artists, these artists live and work across the world. Subject matter is equally varied: see pieces dealing with rent boys, travel, Mexican techno, gender identity, and more.
Erotic Art Show & Aphrodisiac Brunch
At House of Yes, 2 Wyckoff Avenue. Saturday October 1 and Sunday October 2, 11 am to 6 pm.
The lavish House of Yes is known for their over-the-top and often-steamy productions, from an evening of eating food off bodies (and possibly doing other things with those bodies, wink wink), a queer Barbie-themed dance party, to a high-flying full-length musical about Ketamine. Oh, and they regularly serve a Mediterranean weekend brunch. It’s only natural that their offering for BOS weekend be equally erotic. You’ll be served “aphrodisiac-inspired specials and cocktails” while feasting those eyes of yours on visual art and performance, that most likely errs on the hotter side and probably won’t involve a lot of clothes. Plus, it’s free to attend, though you’ll have to pay for the food.
Pulsar Performance Art: Transformers
At Catland Books, 987 Flushing Avenue. Saturday October 1, 7 pm doors, 7:30 pm show.
Three artists from Taiwan and one local performance artist, some influenced by Beckett and others by rope bondage or chicken feet, will occupy the back room at Catland to present new works in an evening that marks the beginning of Pulsar’s fall programming. Pulsar is a “curatorial concept” primarily focused on performance art, that has staged works in apartment bathrooms and roofs and hosts a performance art podcast, with an upcoming season that includes a massive show co-curated by Wild Torus at the large Greenpoint space Last Frontier.
Return To Your Roots: Performance Art On Grattan
At 12 Grattan Street. Saturday October 1, 12:30 pm to 6 pm.
If you’re inclined towards live art more than paintings and the like, wander on over to Pine Box Rock Shop on Saturday afternoon, but don’t go inside. Right out on Grattan Street, there will be an all-day affair of performance art to see. Curated by the Brooklyn-founded, now Detroit-based collective Spread Art in collaboration with thingNY and Pine Box, they have invited artists from Brooklyn, Detroit, Berlin, Philadelphia to perform right out in the great outdoors, including the two founders of nearby art spot Grace Exhibition Space and multidisciplinary artist and curator Uta Brauser, who all will surely push the limits of what you’re used to seeing on the streets.
If you’re unsure about how to even behave properly in an artist’s studio, Lisa Levy and Nina Keneally have got you covered with Lisa & Nina’s Excellent Studio Tour Adventures, where the two self-proclaimed BOS experts will be leading five separate art tours that promise to be fun and irreverent while simultaneously educating you. Each exploring four or five studios (find the schedule here) and they all converge with an afterparty on Saturday at 5 pm at The Bodega. Both women seem eager to take you into their arms and show you where you should be—Levy did an interactive and cuddly performance called “Rockin’ Granny Love” last year and Keneally has a business called NeedAMom, offering herself as a “short-term, temporary mom” for those in need of one.
If you’re an artist and didn’t get your life together in time to actually be a part of BOS, our friends at The Living Gallery will be doing one of their signature “BYO Art” shows on Sunday afternoon, where for the small price of $5 you’re welcome to show (and try to sell) whatever you’d like. Wall space is first come, first served.
And in between visits be on the lookout for Kalan Sherrard, who will be wandering the neighboring streets with his massive Performance Cart creation.
Of course, if you haven’t seen the Trump Tombstone yet, it will still be there, too.
Bushwick Open Studios, presented by Arts In Bushwick, is happening this weekend, October 1-2, with several opening receptions on Friday, September 30.