On Saturday, June 6, children and adults both, gathered in Maria Hernandez Park for Community Day. The event featured a DJ set in front of an “Arts in Bushwick” banner, and showcased various foods and arts-related stands, as well as live performances by dance groups. The day was planned to coincide with the opening of the Bushwick Farmer’s Market season, and this year’s fair and performances were focused on “Art & Wellness.”
Nearby, and all across Bushwick, Bushwick Open Studios was in full swing on Saturday. This marked the ninth year of what is now New York City’s largest open studios event, and features hundreds of artists and performers. Both Bushwick’s galleries and studios were open to the public, showing off local artists’ work. I visited 203 Harrison Street, where guests could view work at ReMerge Studios, as well as at Brooklyn Brush Studios. At both spots dozens of artists welcomed the public into their workspaces, and offered wine, snacks, and insight into their art.
I spoke at length with two artists, whose work is featured at Brooklyn Brush Studios. Ben Hilario-Caguiat is an artist who creates anime-inspired art under the TORNADi brand. Hilario-Caguiat’s work highlights unique shapes and bright colors. He explained that some prints, such as the ones shown behind the sculpture, can be printed in a variety of colors, and are produced from a smaller screen. The New York City water tower sculpture, entitled “Posh,” combines two iconic New York images: the water tower and a map of the city. Hilario-Caguiat stated that the top of the sculpture spins, and features a map of Brooklyn underneath the tower, to symbolize Hilario-Caguiat’s roots and the inspiration behind this sculpture. The map is divided into the city’s unique neighborhoods, and is the first of a set of five distinct towers depicting the spirit of each borough.
Seth Ruggles Hiler is a painter who received his MFA from the New York Academy of Art in TriBeCa. Hiler, who uses acrylic and oil paints, has a few different series he has been working on, ranging from portraits to landscapes. He is currently working on the “Double Exposure: The Ruggles Projects,” where he adapts some of his uncle’s photographs from the 1930s and 1940s, and overlays the prints onto canvas. Hiler has been working on this series for the past eight months and will be showing his work at DUO Multicultural Arts Center on the Lower East Side this fall.
The Arts in Bushwick event offered the unique opportunity to interact with the artists and view a multitude of great work. If this year’s event is any indication of what these artists are capable of, art in Brooklyn will continue to flourish.