This is an archive of the ArtCat Zine, 2007-2009. Please visit our new project, IDIOM.

Early June in Bushwick

Bushwick Open Studios and Arts Festival
Image reproduced on the BOS website.

Bushwick Open Studios & Arts Festival
6 June - 8 June 2008
Various Locations

BOS Preview & Sample Sale
7:30 - 10:30pm (open bar from 7:30 - 8:30pm)
Friday 30 May 2008
Lumenhouse - 47 beaver Street Brooklyn, NY

The periphery of commercial art exhibition and production sites in this city is a constantly shifting front. Studio spaces, for instance, of artists both emerging and established dot the heavily polluted Gowanus canal on both its sides. Studio occupants catch the lunch hour takeout drift from the South Slope, while long-term development plans are underway to build a 68,000 square foot Whole Foods near the intersection of Third Avenue and Third Street. Industry City meanwhile, an industrial complex in Sunset Park, is now renting spaces to artists and developing arts organizations for a kind of tempered integration of cultural workers into the declining but still active industrial sector. Industry City developers have taken note of the wild, market-driven development cycles of neighborhoods like Williamsburg and DUMBO, the former of which is being intensely reimagined on recent subway ads the city over as the latest fledgling, luxury and culturally oriented neighborhood.

Even changes such as these however might not preclude us from suggesting that there has remained, for some years now, a kind of gravitational center for this periphery in Bushwick – at least here in North Brooklyn. Intrepid would-be gallery owners and artists seem to open new venues here each year, while a few older exhibitors calcify their rightful position in the neighborhood with strong programing. The tenor of many such programs seems more conventional than vanguard, with group and solo shows often hung that could easily be transplanted to a Williamsburg gallery without much modification (and to Chelsea perhaps with some.) Rather than launching provocations at either patrons or peer organizations, many of these galleries and spaces seem instead focused on developing interesting, ongoing programing and forging new entry paths to commercial subsistence for both themselves and the artists with which they work.

The dispersed Bushwick arts community manifests next weekend with a 3-day "self-organized art festival where anyone and everyone in the community is welcome to participate by presenting art work, organizing activities or helping to produce the event." Bushwick Open Studios & Arts Festival is sponsored by local businesses, staffed by volunteers, and promises its usual diverse range of open studios, guided history walks, weekend-long group exhibitions, performances, barbecues, film and video screenings, and probably a few parties. A week before these events, however, Lumenhouse hosts a preview and sample sale event to benefit the festival. The benefit will take place tomorrow evening, from 7:30 - 10:30, will feature an open bar for the first hour, and priced to sell donated art works for the generation of funds for the festival.