Studio city! Bushwick artists throw open their aeries this weekend

The Brooklyn Paper
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Brooklyn’s premier artists’ studio tour returns this summer — and it is entirely free.

Bushwick Open Studios, the two-day arts festival in June, is larger than ever with 275 individual shows in studios, galleries, and streets, featuring some of the most exciting artists in Bushwick and Williamsburg.

Seeing so many people on the street in her neighborhood is what Chloe Bass, of the group Arts in Bushwick, looks forward to the most.

“It’s really fun when someone says my house is open to you and anyone else, see how I make work here, how I love and what I do here,” said Bass.

It’s a sprawling festival, so it is impossible to see everything, but there are some highlights.

Several new galleries, including Storefront and Famous Accountants, will feature new shows. The elder statesman of the Bushwick art scene, Factory Fresh, is throwing a solo show for Skewville, while English Kills will celebrate its three-year anniversary, featuring its favorite Bushwick artists.

The future of Bushwick may be at stake at a Saturday afternoon panel, moderated by our own Aaron Short, where community leaders will hash out challenges the neighborhood faces regarding housing, industry, and immigration.

For those interested in rocking out and reading up, a music festival returns to Goodbye Blue Monday and the 2010 Cabaret is back on Scholes Street, while a new literary fair will be held at 3rd Ward Brooklyn.

Perhaps the weirdest show will be hosted by BabySkinGlove, which will give guests a performance art makeover at the Morgan Avenue studio. Suggested donation is $1.69.

Of course, the most exciting aspect of the festival will be the artwork in open studios itself. That is why artists and art patrons keep coming back to Bushwick Open Studios year after year, says festival organizer Laura Braslow.

“Every year we see some of the same faces. Seeing a lot of artists we had in 2007, who are still in the festival, give it feeling of continuity,” said Braslow.

So take it all in and bring your BlackBerry to monitor where you’re going by logging onto the festival’s live-updated Web site. Otherwise, and old-fashioned printed program with a map of every studio in the neighborhood will do just fine.

Bushwick Open Studios, June 4-6, noon to 10 pm. For info, visit

Updated 9:45 am, June 1, 2010
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