Greenpoint Open Studios Logo

Much of the reason why I live in this fine neighborhood is because I worked on Greenpoint Open Studio 2010, a magical event, which I believe was a huge success for artists in Greenpoint. The following year the GOS team was approached by Northside Media Group, aka The L Magazine, to “produce” Northside Open Studios, to include Greenpoint and Williamsburg artists, during the Northside Festival, the East Coast wannabe SXSW. What is open studios? It’s a day or weekend when all artists open their studios to the public. It rules!

The best word I can use to describe the Northside experience is clusterfuck.

(If you want to hear about North Brooklyn political art drama, continue reading. If not, check out Go!, a “community-curated” Brooklyn-wide Open Studios organized by the Brooklyn Museum, (and sponsored by The L Mag) happening in late September.)

There are a few reasons why:


1. Greenpoint and Williamsburg have very different art “scenes” and to lump them together really detracted from the unique flavor of each.
2. The bigger music event hugely overshadowed the art event, leaving artists sitting in their studios, while everyone else was hungover from lasts night’s shows, (including me, but I made my rounds.)
3. The utterly opposite approaches between a volunteer-run infant art organization with no resources versus a sponsorship driven media group left us constantly scratching our heads.

After months of work, I was “fired” from my volunteer gig three days before the festival weekend, mainly because if I smell a f-art I can’t keep it to myself.

The team managed to make it happen with lots of great exhibits and a hugely successful closing party that included a well curated art show and a great music line-up. The feedback from individual artists, however, was not so good.

When recently approached to promote Northside Open Studios 2012 via Greenpointers, I was torn. On one hand I absolutely could not in my good conscience stand behind something that received negative feedback from the art community here. At the same time, I didn’t want to limit opportunities or make decisions for anyone else. In the end, I offered a “sponsored post,” a mini-ad that costs pennies (which I would not have collected on.) The word would spread but it wouldn’t come directly from me. The ad never ran.

If you are an artist and want to participate in open studios (after I just shit on it) email northsideart (at) The deadline has passed but they might budge. There are other better suited opportunities to show your work in the festival as well.

© Ugly Art Room at Williamsburg Walks

Do I think that art should be part of the Northside Festival? Absolutely. Big art installations and group exhibitions that draw from the music audience, like Williamsburg Walks and a huge closing party, make sense by harnessing a huge crowd.

Do I think that “Northside” artists should open their studios (even for one day) and pay $10 to participate in a music festival in which musicians, (which are referred to on the Northside Festival website as “artists” – way confusing) are paid to perform? Absolutely not. That being said, even if you are hungover, visit the studios; you will see amazing artwork.

Do I think and hope that a Greenpoint-ONLY Open Studios should happen in all it’s former glory? Absolutely!

In the end, I will be walking around on June 17th with my brochure, supporting the Northside Open Studios artists and the team who works tirelessly to promote the arts in North Brooklyn.


All that crap to introduce to you a Brooklyn-wide “community curated” Open Studios via the Brooklyn Museum, sponsored by The L Mag, coming to Greenpoint, and every other neighborhood on the weekend of September 8-9th, 2012 called Go!

It’s NOT all about Greenpoint, but it’s all about art and open studios and that is good. Right now the only option is to sign-up for email updates and follow on the on twitter. Registration for artists begins June 4th. It’s free. Visitors to artist’s studio nominate artists for the chance to be a part of an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum as part of Target First Saturdays on December 1, 2012.

I am excited to see how this pans out considering the size and amount of artists living in this great borough. As the website reports there are 67 neighborhoods with over 6000 artists. Let’s rep Greenpoint and vote one of our artists for an exhibit at the brooklyn Museum!

Join the Conversation


  1. Thanks for this post! And I want to pipe in a few words in support of Greenpoint Open Studios and GO.

    First – I love and dearly miss Greenpoint Open Studios. My first GOS experience was in 2009 as a community member. I’d lived in the neighborhood for a decade, but only knew a couple other Greenpoint artists. Running around to visit as many studios as possible, the neighborhood suddenly became much more of a neighborhood, and I met several folks who have since become fast friends. I also found my own studio that weekend. After months of looking for a place to produce new ceramic sculptures, I stumbled across Clay Space 1205 (who knew there was a clay studio 8 minutes away from my home?!) and joined immediately. In 2010 I opened my studio, along with other members at Clay Space, and we experienced the fantastic turnout and community spirit that you all helped to create.

    Sadly, GOS did not happen last year, usurped by NOS which does not have Greenpoint nor art as its focus. I agree that art should be a part of the Northside Festival, but not in the form of open studios. I will run around and support my fellow artists participating this year, but I’m hoping 2013 we can get GOS back!

    But this year there is something that has never happened before and may never happen again – GO, created by an exceptionally awesome team of folks at the Brooklyn Museum. I’m super excited about this project and I’m looking for our neighborhood spirit to shine brightly the weekend of September 8-9. Please take a look and sign up as an artist or sign up to vote!

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