Dumbo artists see support at inaugural ‘Shop the Studios’

Gallery Onlookers
Shoppers browse the work of Dumbo artists at the neighborhood’s first “Shop the Studios” holiday market event.
Art in DUMBO

Holiday shopping was a breeze this past weekend in Dumbo, where artists teamed up for “Shop the Studios” — a showcase of local galleries and a one-stop-shop for Brooklynites looking for one-of-a-kind gifts.

A whopping 35 artists opened their studios to the public during “Shop the Studios,” which took place at noon on Dec. 12 and served as “an opportunity for locals and tourists alike to connect directly with artists working in Dumbo,” according to organizers.

Kate Gavriel, the cultural affairs director at Two Trees — a local real estate company and one of the event’s sponsors alongside the Dumbo Business Improvement District and Art in DUMBO — said the business has been dedicated to the neighborhood’s art community for some time. The idea for Shop the Studios was grown out of a desire to include local creators in the annual holiday market, she told Brooklyn Paper.

“When we were talking to [the Dumbo Business Improvement District] about their upcoming plans and they mentioned the holiday flea market, we talked with them about if there’s a way to get the artists in the neighborhood involved,” said Gavriel.

Organizers then decided to combine two community events: the Christmas flea market and the annual open studios event that usually happens in the spring.

An artists speaks with a customer about their work.Art in DUMBO

“Shop the studios is an extension of the classic holiday market with the Brooklyn flea’s located right in the middle of the neighborhood. We wanted to get Dumbo’s artists involved, especially after two tumultuous years through the pandemic,” said Gavriel.

Organizers then contacted the local creators.

“We reached out to the list of open studio participants and invited them to participate in this event,” said Gavriel.“We’re really thrilled to be able to support local artists by connecting them with holiday shoppers, particularly those who come to the flea in search of handmade or unique gifts.”

Jen Ferguson, one of the event’s participating designers, has had her studio in Dumbo for many years. Her work focuses on figurative and architectural pieces as well as oil paintings.

“[This] sounded like a really fun way to reconnect with people,” she told Brooklyn paper prior to the shopping extravaganza. “It’s been so long since we’ve had the ability to have in-person open studios. It’s really nice to be able to invite people over.”

In all, the event drew hundreds of people, said Gavriel, who is already looking ahead to repeating Shop the Studios’ success next holiday season.

“I’m thrilled with the success of this year’s Shop the Studios event,” she told Brooklyn Paper. “Not only did shoppers get the chance see DUMBO’s incredible artists in action and purchase one-of-a-kind gifts, but the event also provided a platform for the artists to connect with new audiences and make additional sales during this holiday season.”