Guests create collages at Amy Williams Studio (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda).

Out of more than 400 participating artists in the annual Greenpoint Open Studios this past weekend, Bedford + Bowery interviewed five zany (and impressive) artists you should definitely keep an eye on.

Check out our five artist Q+As below:

Amy Williams

Amy Williams Studio (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

BB_Q(1) So you said you recently moved to Greenpoint?

BB_A(1) Yeah, I moved to Greenpoint in September! This is kind of my first public launch.

BB_Q(1) How has it been with the festival? Have people been coming in?

BB_A(1) Oh yeah. I think 400 people came in yesterday.

BB_Q(1) So why don’t you take me around, take me through the art a little bit?

BB_A(1) I’m a photographer for twenty-five years. Place is really important to me, as is nature. And I also shoot with toy cameras, which adds another element of fun. About eight months ago, I discovered collage. This is my work table, and I can spend hours cutting out images from magazines and see what comes together.

BB_Q(1) Could you describe a particular piece that interested you?

BB_A(1) I can start with one of my collages. It’s called “Spring Green.” I found all of these women performing a different exercise poses. And also a bunch of asparagus. And it just kind of came together. I was cleaning up my table to get ready to go to a class, and I scooped it all up together and there it was.

Amy Williams Studio (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

BB_Q(1) And the [toy camera] photographs—where are they from?

BB_A(1) I travel a lot, so these I shot with a toy Holga camera. The fun thing about toy cameras is that they don’t have any control. There’s no F-stop, no shutter speed. So it’s just a really intuitive process. This series is called ‘Sanctuary,’ and I shot it at the Okefenokee swamp in Southeast Georgia. And it was just the most pristine place that I’ve ever been. It’s never been inhabited by people.

Amy Williams Studio (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda).

Jeffrey Anderson

Jeffrey Anderson’s studio and residence (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

BB_Q(1) You create this sort of maze for people to come through and experience your space. Was that sort of intentional on your part?

BB_A(1) No, not really. It kind of evolved over the years. This was a commercial space and I made it into my studio and living space and loft. So not only have I created the art, but I’ve been working on my living space for probably the last twenty-five years. And it’s still a work in progress.

Jeffrey Anderson’s studio and residence (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

BB_Q(1) So is every single piece in here created by you, or is there artwork from other artists?

BB_A(1) If it’s colorful and geometric, I probably made it. The most recent one is actually the Plexiglass one right there. If it’s made of Plexiglass, stained glass, steel, or neon, it’s something I made recently. And the older pieces I made out of wood—like this one right here.

Jeffrey Anderson’s studio and residence (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

BB_Q(1) How do you create the different lighting effects in each one? Is it actual electricity?

BB_A(1) Some of them, like this earlier one, is actually reflected color, where the back of the inside of the triangles are painted in color. It’s a natural reflection onto the white. Now I’m moving into the twenty-first century and using LED lighting.

Jeffrey Anderson’s studio and residence (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

BB_Q(1) And the pieces in the front, all the masks—are those things you’ve collected yourself and from other artists?

BB_A(1) No, I do a lot of traveling. I’m up to 105 countries now. It’s an expensive, but wonderful hobby. A lot of them I’ve collected in my travels from Central America, South America, Asia. So that’s how the mask collection came about.

BB_Q(1) It’s almost like a museum because you’ve labeled each [mask] with its origin.

BB_A(1) I had a friend about three or four years ago, and he collected masks too. We were always kind of joking [that] we should open the Brooklyn Mask Museum. Maybe one of these days that might be the next project, but it’s not on the front burner at the moment.

Jeffrey Anderson’s studio and residence (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

Ana Maria Velasco

Ana Maria Velasco’s works (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

BB_Q(1) Ana, why don’t you tell me about the pieces you have here? They seem to be part of one collection?

BB_A(1) Yes, they’re part of a body of work that I started a couple of years ago. And they are imaginary landscapes that have to do a lot with my personal life. But you don’t really have to know that. I want them to be something that anybody can connect with in terms of the archetypes that you find.

Ana Maria Velasco’s works (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

BB_Q(1) Can we take a look at one particular painting?

BB_A(1) So this one is a mountain I visited. In a lot of my work, I have been trying to create these mountains. These very big landscapes, open skies, spacious situations that are made out of people. I choose these people—specifically soccer players, bull fighters, some people dancing, animals, soldiers. Soccer players—I think they’re fascinating superheroes that move in a way like dancers and ballerinas. And they have also have an important presence in my culture. It’s something that unites the country where I come from.

Ana Maria Velasco’s works (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

BB_Q(1) What is the country?

BB_A(1) Colombia. Well, I am half Colombian and half Nicaraguan, and I am a U.S. citizen.

BB_Q(1) And is the mountain in—?

BB_A(1) Colombia. That’s La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. It’s [one of] the largest coastal mountain ranges [on] the planet. These are coca leaves that in this part of the world—they’re a sacred plant. But it has also become a very problematic plant when used for recreational drugs. I like the duality of this painting because you see a little bit of both. It’s a beautiful plant, it’s a sacred plant, but it’s also created so much trouble.

Ana Maria Velasco’s works (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

Mindy Abovitz Monk (Creator of Tom Tom Magazine)

Tom Tom Mag (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

BB_Q(1) So tell me how long Tom Tom has been in operation.

BB_A(1) We have been around for nine years. We’ll be going onto a decade next year.

BB_Q(1) How do you find the Greenpoint artist community?

BB_A(1) I love it. I’ve been living in Greenpoint for about seven years now.

BB_Q(1) Tell me a little bit about how you founded Tom Tom.

BB_A(1) I’m a drummer. I’m a feminist, and I was really disappointed by the existing drum media. I absolutely love making music, and I wanted to extend the invitation to making music to girls and women everywhere. I have since thought of the female drummer as metaphor for someone who doesn’t see themselves in something and becomes that thing.

Tom Tom Mag (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

BB_Q(1) Is it a print and digital magazine?

BB_A(1) We’re online at [and] we’re in print at Barnes & Noble.

BB_Q(1) I saw that you were teaching people how to play the drums. Is that just for today?

BB_A(1) Today we’re doing micro-drum lessons. Year round, we have a resource section on our website that leads people to female drum instructors around the world so they can continue taking lessons.

Mindy Abovitz Monk offering micro-drum lessons (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

John Crain (Co-Founder of SuperRare)

SuperRare (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

BB_A(1) So the company’s called SuperRare. We have a platform built on the Ethereum blockchain. Artists can create digital paintings. They issue cryptocurrency tokens that is the digital painting, and it has an image file or a video file in it. Then the artist has the ability to sell the digital work using the blockchain, and collectors can collect the work. And we’re also working on VR [virtual reality] experiences so artists can build exhibitions with their digital tokens.

SuperRare (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

BB_Q(1) Did you cofound the organization?

BB_A(1) Yeah, I’m one of the founders. There’s three of us…so, you can sell someone a JPEG or something, but it can proliferate around the Internet like pretty easily. So you’re not sure, like, so how do I know this JPEG is the piece of art? By registering it on the blockchain and creating the token, you now have authentic digital representation of the painting. And you can differentiate it from someone who just copied it.

BB_Q(1) How are you trying to get artists into the fold? Are you recruiting artists who are already using cryptocurrency?

BB_A(1) Oh yeah. A big portion of what we’re doing right now is just education. So we’re doing some level of outreach. But most of its been pretty organic through our friends.

SuperRare (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)