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