Inside Rachel Selekman’s studio from the 2016 Gowanus Open Studios, “Burst 4 (Taking Stock 2)” (2016) (photo by Benjamin Sutton/Hyperallergic)

Gowanus Open Studios returns for the 21st time this Saturday and Sunday, October 21–22. This year’s edition features over 300 participating artists who will open their spaces to the public to discuss art making, show work, and talk about their processes and lives in the Gowanus creative community.

A painting in progress inside Tony Geiger’s studio during the 2016 Gowanus Open Studios (photo by Benjamin Sutton/Hyperallergic)

As always, there’s a huge range of artists participating, at all different career stages and working in almost every style and process imaginable. Sasha Chavchvadze (110 Nevins Street, ground floor) has been making mixed-media drawings and installations that deal with history (American Revolution, Cold War, modernism) for over 25 years, while the artist-run gallery Ortega y Gasset Projects (the Old American Can Factory, 232 Third Avenue) will present the NYC solo debut of Kuldeep Singh, a complex installation involving movement, drawing, and live violin and sitar accompaniment. And pristine nature might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think “Gowanus,” but photographer Miska Draskoczy (698 Sackett Street #2R), author of the recently published photo book Gowanus Wild, has set out to capture what there might be of it, and how people relate to nature against an industrial landscape. Over at Spaceworks (540 President Street, Studio #22), Kate Fauvell uses painting, collage, audio, and film to explore what makes us human (and also family, home, history, and politics) while Karen Mainenti (Studio #27) plays with what makes us female by either appropriating hyper-recognizable brands and images (Jif, Land-o’-Lakes, millennial-pink underwear) or by removing any whiff of branding altogether (it’s hilarious, moving, and pretty dark all at once).

Works by Micaela Kramer mixing found fabric and construction materials in her studio during the 2016 Gowanus Open Studios (photo by Benjamin Sutton/Hyperallergic)

The art goes well with parties, naturally. There’s a kickoff Friday night, co-hosted with Cluster Gallery and Brooklyn SolarWorks, from 7 to 10pm. On Saturday, you have a chance to take home work by the artists that’ve caught your eye at a silent auction at 313 Butler Gallery (there’s one work available from each participating artist). Also on Saturday, Gemini & Scorpio Lofts, whose bread and butter is themed costume parties, will throw the after-party from 6-10pm. (More info on all special events is here.)

Gowanus Open Studios is free to attend and spans a broad swath of Gowanus and its environs, from Bergen Street to 18th Street and Court Street to 5th Avenue. A PDF map with artists and locations is available via Arts Gowanus, which organizes the annual weekend festivities.

When: Saturday, October 21–Sunday, October 22
Where: Various locations throughout Gowanus, Brooklyn 

More info here.

Laila Pedro is a writer and scholar based in New York. She holds a PhD in French from the Graduate Center, CUNY, and is currently at work on a book tracing artistic connections between Cuba, France, and...