The weather’s getting hotter — at least it was last weekend — which can only mean one thing: it’s time for Bushwick Open Studios! Traditionally held on one of the warmest weekends of the year (at least that’s how it usually feels), BOS is New York City’s biggest open studios event, spanning the warehouses around the Morgan Avenue L train stop to the residential blocks near the Halsey Street J train stop, deep into Ridgewood, and all points in between.
This year’s online directory includes, as of this writing, 489 studios, performances, exhibitions, and special events of every stripe. The offerings can be overwhelming, which is why we’ve put together this highly-selective-but-still-really-long guide to BOS 2015, which runs June 5–7 (and of which Hyperallergic is a media sponsor). Peruse the full directory here.
Don’t forget to follow Hyperallergic on Instagram for pics from BOS all weekend. And here is a convenient map of all our picks:
Sure, this weekend there are pop-up outdoor sculpture shows, rooftop parties, an art fair, and a Fat Joe concert (seriously), but at the end of the day, BOS is an opportunity to visit with artists and discuss their work (and maybe even buy some!). There are hundreds of studios to choose from, but these are some of the buildings and individual studios that are on my itinerary or that tend to have an exceptional concentration of artists. This is what it’s all about, folks.
1828 Troutman Street (1828 Troutman Street, Ridgewood): A smaller studio building housing many members of the Regina Rex gallery collective, 1828 Troutman is also home to the Penelope Gallery and will be hosting a BBQ on Saturday and Sunday.
41 Varick Avenue (41 Varick Avenue, Bushwick): Another building with multiple open studios, the highlights here include Carla Gannis — she of “The Garden of Emoji Delights” (2015) — and sculptor Jon Duff.
395 Johnson Avenue (395 Johnson Avenue, Bushwick): One of the biggest gallery buildings on the map this year, head to 395 Johnson to see works on paper by Sarah G. Sharp, brightly colorful abstract photographs by Cate Woodruff, and sculptures by Doyoung Choe.
117 Grattan Street (117 Grattan Street, Bushwick): A longtime BOS hub, 117 Grattan has eight open studios this year, but be sure to stop by suite 217 to see Fanny Allié‘s found object sculptures and conceptual investigations into homelessness and to get a close look at Etty Yaniv‘s large-scale environmental sculptures.
1027 Grand Street (1027 Grand Street, Williamsburg): This is one of the biggest BOS buildings over on the Williamsburg end of things, and among the participating artists worth seeking out are painter Jessica Cannon on the fourth floor and photo collages by Liesl Pfeffer in room 308.
Pier Paolo Bandini (1013 Grand Street, Bushwick): The Italian artist will be showing works from his latest project, Hyper Conceptual Interstellar Artist (HCIA), which looks like a kind of parody of the contemporary art market’s brightest stars, but, according to Bandini’s description, the (fictional) HCIA artists “develop projects which go beyond the geographic confines of their own native country in order to dress a stellar profile with a silk scarf and velvet gloves.” This is your chance to find out what on earth that means.
Roxanne Jackson (1717 Troutman Street, Ridgewood): Jackson makes playful, funny, and profoundly weird ceramic sculptures that incorporate a range of unconventional materials. While in this massive building, be sure to poke your head in the dozens of other studios that will be open for BOS.
Steven and William Ladd (35 Meadow Street, Bushwick): The artist brothers, known for their colorful, textiles-heavy sculptures, irreverent glass sculptures, and bespoke installations, are material maximalists, which should make theirs one of the weekend’s most visual rich open studios.
David Rittinger (340 Morgan Avenue, Bushwick): Rittinger’s elaborate, explosive, and humorous sculptures often involve a number of intricate and complex fabrication techniques and media, which should make visiting his work space especially fun for techie and materials geek types.
Remember when I was all like, “BOS is an opportunity to visit with artists and discuss their work.” Well, that’s true, but it’s also an opportunity for artists to mount pop-up exhibitions in their studios, in vacant parts of their buildings, and in underused outdoor spaces, which, judging by this year’s BOS offerings, is an increasingly popular tactic. These are some of the most intriguing.
Home Improvement on Rock Street
When: 33 continuous hours, from 9am Saturday, June 6, through Sunday, June 7 at 6pm
Where: Rock Street (between Morgan Avenue and Bogart Street, Bushwick)
In what is fast becoming a BOS tradition, Deborah Brown and Lesley Heller have once again curated an exhibition of outdoor sculptures that will take over Rock Street, a quasi-private one-block street controlled by Boar’s Head meat distributor Frank Brunckhorst. This year’s artists include Heidi Lau, Julie Tremblay, and BroLab.
When: Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7, 12–7pm
Where: 1182 Flushing Avenue, 2nd floor (between Wyckoff and Stewart avenues, Bushwick)
Last year during BOS, artist Björn Meyer-Ebrecht curated Communal Table, an exhibition of tabletop sculptures inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.” This time around he’s built a small room inside his studio, which will feature window-like, two-dimensional works by eight artists including Sharon Butler, Paul Gagner, Adam Parker Smith, and Jenny Vogel.
When: Sunday, June 7, 12–8pm
Where: 1317 Jefferson Avenue, apartment 1 (between Wilson and Knickerbocker avenues, Bushwick)
Sorry, you now have “Hotel California” stuck in your head, but this exhibition in artist Colby Claycomb’s apartment boasts a very strong lineup including works by Letha Wilson, Cooper Holoweski, and Irvin Morozan. Plus there will be a BBQ starting at 5pm.
Westernized, Watered-down Zen Philosophies
When: Saturday, June 6, 12–10pm; Sunday, June 7, 12–6pm
Where: 1866 Troutman Street, Ridgewood
Artist Andrew Cornell Robinson curated this nine-artist outdoor exhibition, which will take over a parking lot in Ridgewood, and though its curatorial premise is so incredibly vague it sounds like satire — “This exhibition sets out to examine the idea that the condition of the interdisciplinary imagination has the potential to create new forms and visual experiences” — the lineup, from an artist who dresses as Bigfoot to a ceramicist who makes apocalyptic office furniture, sounds fantastic.
English Kills Project
When: Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7, 11am–6pm
Where: 447–455 Johnson Avenue, Bushwick
The English Kills Project is a collaboration between artist Henry G. Sanchez and biologist Sarah Durand to create manmade wetlands in the English Kills tributary of the toxic Newtown Creek. This weekend they, the Newtown Creek Alliance, North Brooklyn Boat Club, artist JaeWook Lee, and others take over the parking lot at the end of English Kills.
When: June 5–7
Where: Various locations
A sprawling exhibition unto itself, #SAVEARTSPACE brings works by artists including Meryl Meisler, Jeanette Spicer, Catherine Koutsavlis, members of the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, and others to advertising spaces throughout the neighborhood.
Feminist Thesaurus Results
When: Friday, June 5–Sunday, June 7, 12–7pm
Where: 505 Johnson Avenue, studio 12 (between Stewart and Varick avenues, Bushwick)
There’s precious little information about what this group show will involve, but between the excellent group of artists involved, the exhibition’s terrific title, and the fact that it will also include a performance art piece — “Control Quartz,” Friday at 6pm and Sunday at 2pm — it has a lot going for it.
When: Friday, June 5, 5–10pm; Saturday, June 6, 1–10pm; Sunday, June 7, 1–7pm
Where: 214 Starr Street (between Irving and Wyckoff avenues, Bushwick)
A regular fixture at BOS, Artcade returns for its third year, this time with games by Robert Epstein, Jake Jeffries, and Paul Nicholson. Among the titles you’ll want to try your hand at are an Oculus Rift game called “The Museum of Stolen Art,” something named “Bushwick Rush,” and a sumo wrestling game in which the fighters are all penguins.
Galleries and the Fair
Like it or lump it, the commercial sector is part of the Bushwick art scene now, and while BOS is — as its name implies — about the open studios, there are dozens of galleries and an art fair that also merit some of your time. Herewith, a very selective sampling of what’s on offer this week.
NEWD Art Show
When: Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7, 12-7pm
Where: The 1896 (592 Johnson Avenue, Bushwick, Brooklyn)
NEWD, the first art fair to join the BOS festivities since the half-joking, half-serious Bushwick Basel hosted at Jules de Balincourt’s studio in 2012, returns for its sophomore edition with 11 galleries — including local mainstays NURTUREart and Sardine, Manhattan transplant Regina Rex, and Vinegar Hill newbie the Department of Signs and Symbols — showing works by artists including Lior Modan, Jennifer Lauren Smith, Hannah Barrett, and Melissa Brown.
Galleries at 56 Bogart
When: Friday, June 5, 1–9pm; Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7, 1–6pm
Where: 56 Bogart Street (between Harrison Place and Grattan Street, Bushwick)
The Bogart gallery mall building — which will also have a number of open studios on its upper floors — has a tendency to get overrun on BOS weekend, but it’s worth navigating the crowds to see some of the offerings at the galleries, including the group show Puppet Panic at Honey Ramka and the delightfully colorful and textural works of Davide Zucco at NURTUREart.
When: Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7, 1–6pm
Where: Sardine (286 Stanhope Street, between Irving and Wyckoff avenues, Bushwick)
You probably weren’t expecting to see Rothkos and Picassos during BOS, but Maria Calandra’s show at Sardine features her drawings of both modern masterpieces and sought-after contemporary works hanging in museum galleries and collectors’ homes.
Don Pablo Pedro
When: Friday, June 5, 7–10pm; Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7, 1–6pm
Where: English Kills Art Gallery (114 Forrest Street, between Central and Flushing avenues, Bushwick)
Friday night ragers at English Kills are an essential ingredient of BOS, so expect shoulder-to-shoulder crowds during the opening reception for Don Pablo Pedro’s newest show of delightfully demented and beautiful nymphomaniacs. Stop by later in the weekend if you actually want to see the art — which, trust me, you will.
Carlton Scott Sturgill
When: All day on Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7
Where: Norte Maar (83 Wyckoff Avenue, at Suydam Street, Bushwick)
In addition to the seminal “Maps & Mimosas” (Saturday, June 6, 11am–2pm) and the official BOS rooftop dance party (Saturday, June 6, 9pm–1am), Norte Maar will present a climbing, twisting installation of roses sculpted from paper by Carlton Scott Sturgill that will take over the fence outside the gallery.
When: Sunday, June 7, 12–6pm
Where: The Parlour Bushwick (791 Bushwick Avenue at DeKalb Avenue, Bushwick)
This nine-artist exhibition sits so nicely in the living room and kitchen that are Parlour’s main exhibition spaces, from the friendly tabletop monsters and mermaids by Roxanne Jackson to the mantlepiece sculptures by Rebecca Morgan and Heidi Lau, and the video-game influenced tapestries by Robin Kang. It may also provide a welcome antidote to all the abstract painting you’re likely to see in the studios.
When: Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7, 12–6pm
Where: TSA New York (1329 Willoughby Avenue, #2A, between St Nicholas and Wyckoff avenues, Bushwick)
Artists take nighttime as their muse in this group exhibition of nocturnal works — including drawings by Trenton Doyle Hancock, paintings by Charlotte Hallberg, and incredibly realistic cast stone sculptures of discarded clothes by Jude Tallichet — whose palette is nonetheless exuberant and bright.
When: Friday, June 5, 6–9pm; Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7, 12–6pm
Where: 1329 Willoughby Avenue (between St Nicholas and Wyckoff avenues, Bushwick)
As its title intimates, when the loading dock of the building that houses the galleries TSA, Transmitter, and Microscope became available for a month, the landlord turned it over to curators Paul Corio and Rob De Oude, who have organized this pop-up exhibition of large-scale sculptures and paintings.
When: Friday, June 5, 6–9pm; Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7, 12–6pm
Where: ArtHelix (299 Meserole Street, between Bogart and Waterbury streets, Bushwick)
I try to be extremely sparing in my use of the L-word, but here goes: the work in this group show curated by Julie McKim — including works by Sonya Blesofsky, Angeles Cossio, and Erik Hougen — explores liminal spaces between abstraction and figuration, the familiar and the bizarre.
When: Thursday, June 4, 6–8pm; Friday, June 5, 12–10pm; Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7, 11am–6pm
Where: IDIO Gallery (976 Grand Street, Studio D, between Catherine Street and Morgan Avenue, Bushwick)
Bushwick’s newest gallery opens this week, with a two-person show of works by John Crowe and Oliver Jones, curated by sculptor Jack Henry.
Correction: An earlier version of this article inaccurately claimed that Jackson’s studio would be the only one open in 1717 Troutman Street during BOS. While only one 1717 Troutman Street listing appears on the interactive map on the BOS website, there are in fact 22 open studio listings in the building according to a search on the BOS website and 29 according to the printed BOS directory. Hyperallergic apologizes for this error.