Photo Essays

A Trip Through BETA Spaces

The 2010 BETA Spaces map (click to enlarge) (via artsinbushwick.org/beta2010)

I spent my Sunday wandering into the living spaces of Bushwick, searching for art, and there was a lot to discover. Though, much of what I found seemed to have woken up at 11:30am to start setting up for the event that technically started at noon. Truly, I didn’t mind. Who am I to complain, when I’m spending my day invading the homes of artists?

The experience for me was as much about walking through the grey, unwelcoming streets of Bushwick as it was seeing the plethora of work being created there. It was stumbling around, looking for the garage entrance; It was walking down a dark, graffiti’d hallway, wondering if I was even on the right floor; and it was opening the many different doors to find vibrant colors, projections, snacks, wine, or any other sort of welcoming warmth.

Of course, being one of those people who feels tremendously awkward entering an unfamiliar home, I probably would have made it to very few of the spaces had I not begun the day with free mimosas. The sunlight and breakfast treats at Norte Maar’s Map n Mimosa event started me off expecting the best, and it was a good day.

The art I found didn’t blow my mind. There were many pieces I liked but most resonated as simply “pleasant,” as if most of what was seen were personal trinkets put on display out of kindness. I rarely was overwhelmed by any collection or overall exhibits, and yet the event as a whole was overwhelming. It showed that, if you look for it, there is a large, vibrant scene hiding behind the concrete and brick in Bushwick.

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Jason Andrew of Norte Maar with a visitor in front of a painting by Steve Harding.

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A view of the table at Norte Maar’s Maps n Mimosa event that kicked off the 2010 BETA Spaces.

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Arch Collective’s sign on Troutman.

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A view of Alex Kellum’s wall piece at Arch Collective.

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The urban wallpaper of a loft building hallway.

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A view of the “Make Yourself at Home” exhibition on Johnson Avenue.

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Another view of “Make Yourself at Home,” a show that the organizers described as a “visual exploration of the invasive suggestion that you ‘make yourself at home’.”

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A view of the “Future Archaeology: Here and Now” show by The Keep on Morgan which explored “ephemeral forms across media.”

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“Flan” on Grattan.

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Curator Mark Weathers put together a show titled “Boxed In and Out” which gave artists a small black box from which to work from.

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Some violent graffiti on the streets of Bushwick

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Signs battling for visitors’ attention.

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The 2010 BETA Space exhibition festival was organized by Arts in Bushwick and took place this past Sunday, November 14 in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

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