Yes, it’s that time of year again: the time when Bushwick becomes a giant, artistic playground (even more than it is the rest of the year), and there’s a found trash sculpture or an hyperrealist painting — and probably booze (or at least food) — everywhere you look. It’s Bushwick Open Studios! And the MTA even says the L train will be running! (We’ll believe it when we set foot on Morgan Avenue) What more could we ask for?

This year’s BOS is bigger than it’s ever been before, with over 500 studios, shows and events happening. That’s a lot of art. To help you stay focused and find your way through the madness, the doctor is prescribing her very own guide of things to see and do. And if you need some visual help finding these places when you’re out and about, you can pick up a old-fashioned paper map (how 2011) or download the brand-spanking-new iPhone app, which looks like a solid bet.

Happy arting!


Truck Yeah

Truck Yeah (photo by Rachel Low, all images via

Legal Basics for Artists at Diana H. Jones Senior Center (9 Noll Street)

Before you get too drunk, start off your weekend with a free panel and discussion with a handful of art lawyers. Topics will include copyright and fair use, moral rights and consignment agreements. With all the buzz about Prince v Cariou in the air these days, it’s a good time to get your legal facts straight.
Friday, June 1, 5:15–7:30 pm

Truck Yeah: A Mobile Meet Up at Pine Box Rock Shop (12 Grattan Street)

After you’ve had your dose of serious thinking, head over to Truck Yeah’s mobile meet up for a mini-festival of art, food, fashion, and music. This event includes a simulated War Wagon that biker gangs use when they’re in trouble, a part of Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project … and kimchi tacos.
Friday, June 1, 4–8 pm, Saturday, June 2, 2–8 pm

Holy BOS! at Bobby Redd Project Space (626 Bushwick Ave)

Named after the church in which it is held, Holy BOS! is another one of those wide-ranging events that take place inside the larger smorgasbord of Bushwick Open Studios. Featuring musical performances, a film festival, art ritual theater and a gospel brunch.
Friday, June 1, 8 pm–2 am, Saturday, June 2, 12 pm–2 am, Sunday, June 3, 12–11:30 pm

Maps N Mimosas at Norte Maar (83 Wyckoff Ave, 1B)

Remember those old-fashioned maps we were talking about? Well you can get one here! And remember those copious drinks we mentioned? Grab one of those, too.
Saturday, June 2, 11 am–2 pm

Frisky Business at 60 Bogart Street, outside (corner of Bogart and Harrison)

Stop-and-frisk is one of the NYPD’s most controversial and notorious practices. We’re willing to be that this improv, interactive street-theater performance addressing stop-and-frisk will be thought-provoking — and hopefully entertaining, too.
Saturday, June 2, 12 pm–7 pm

24-Hour Dialogue on Art and Life with Bushwick at the traffic island at 150 Thames Street (Thames and Varick Streets)

If there’s one thing people in the Bushwick art scene love to talk about these days, it’s the art scene in Bushwick. Peter Boswijck leads a 24-hour conversation about it — at which point, the topic just might be exhausted (until next year).
Saturday, June 2, sunset–Sunday, June 3, sunset

The Fabulous Show at House of Yes (342 Maujer Street)

If you find yourself longing for some performing (not performance) arts amid all the visual art, House of Yes is hosting an over-the-top, glittery and glamorous show of burlesque dancers, aerialists, contortionists and more — including “avant-garde fashion fascists”?? If you go, report back and let us know what those are.
Saturday, June 2, 9 pm

Borderline Bushwick meets at 4 Wyckoff Ave, outside (corner of Wyckoff and Jefferson Street, under the llamas)

This event is a combination of many great things: a walking tour exploring the idea of boundaries and borders, where the stops are site-specific performances around the neighborhood. Plus there’s a rooftop party afterwards, a perfect way to wind down the weekend.
Sunday, June 3, 4–7 pm

Our Studio Picks

Work by Nicholas Forker

Work by Nicholas Forker

Rob de Oude and Enrico Gomez at Troutman Studios (1717 Troutman Street, #220)

De Oude’s colorful oils seem to blend Op Art, geometric abstraction and woven textiles, and Gomez is a curator and critic whose own art we’re eager to see.

Sarah Bednarek, Jenn Brehm, Jessica Grable, Brent Owens and Stephen Truax at the Troutfarm (322 Troutman Street, ground floor)

This is a good chance to see new work by some Bushwick standbys, including large, other-worldly drawings by Brehm and clever, crafted wood carvings and paintings by Owens.

Nicholas Forker at Brooklyn Fireproof (119 Ingraham Street, #309)

Forker’s large-scale and ethereal ballpoint drawings of astronauts prove that Tom Sachs doesn’t have a monopoly on outer space.

Cooper Holoweski at H Art (840 Hart Street, ground floor, back studio)

Holoweski works in a wide range of mediums — painting, sculpture, stop-motion animation — to make haunting work about the promises and failures of the American middle class.

 Liz Ainslie (83 Meserole Street, #302)

Ainslie will be hosting a group show in her space but her paintings are the real reasons we’re showing up. She uses the language of early 20th C. painting but creates something lovely and new, like a visual poem. They are strong but challenging compositions that will win you over. —HV

 El Celso (410 Stanhope Street, #1)

A great mix of pop and graffiti, his work offers up his brightly colored visions to your eyes to enjoy and explore. He will be moving to LA soon so this may be your last chance to see his studio in New York. His chicha posters, created in Peru, are pretty damn awesome. —HV

 Andrew Cornell Robinson at arcStudio (117 Grattan Street, #309)

Walking into Robinson’s studio is like walking into a toy store. Clay, painted and ceramic objects of all types surround you and they are often chock full of historic and contemporary references. Some are playful, others more austere, but they are always fascinating to behold. —HV

Our Exhibition Picks

"Sculpture Garden" at The Onderdonk House

“Sculpture Garden” at The Onderdonk House

Vegan Pizza Party at the Active Space (566 Johnson Ave.)

The New Aesthetic is everywhere these days, so why not at BOS? This show features nine artists commenting on the New Aesthetic but happily refusing to answer the question of whether or not it’s actually a thing.

Inquiry at Two Coats of Paint (117 Grattan Street, #419)

Artist and blogger Sharon Butler is celebrating the fifth anniversary of her art blog, Two Coats of Paint, by having Pocket Utopia’s Austin Thomas curate a painting show. There’s no way this won’t be awesome.

Sculpture Garden at The Onderdonk House (1820 Flushing Ave)

We’re still taken with this 17th-century Dutch farmhouse, which is hosting a group exhibition of contemporary sculpture, curated by Bushwick local Deborah Brown and Lower East Side gallerist Lesley Heller. The work on view responds to the remarkable pastoral landscape of the house and its grounds.

Abdolreza Aminlari and Drew Shiflett at Storefront Bushwick (16 Wilson Ave, ground floor)

Both Aminlari and Shiflett create subtle, delicate work: Aminlari sews and draws repetitively on paper, creating textured patterns that are also meditations on his cultural identity, while Shiflett has created a layered sculpture of handmade paper, cheesecloth and Styrofoam, among other materials.

Actual ‘Wood at the Outpost (1665 Norman Street, ground floor)

Ridgewood may be breaking away from Bushwick, but until it get its chops, its artists are still showing at BOS, a number of them in this group exhibition.

Wappen Field at Michelle Jaffe (852 Cypress Ave)

A sculptural sound installation featuring 12 chrome-plated steel helmets that look like knight’s armor. Stick your face in them, and speakers plays vocal music.

Simone Martinetto: Without the Memory at 49B Studios (49 Bogart Street, Suite 22)

Italian photographer Martinetto examines the loss of memory through pictures of his grandmother, who filled her home with reminder notes as her memory faded.

Text at Studio 10 (56 Bogart Street)

John Avelluto, Mary Carlson, Meg Hitchcock and Audra Wolowiec present artwork that has a relationship to the text and the written word. Hitchcock cuts letters from sacred texts and reassembles as passages from other sacred texts; Wolowiec presents her “Breathing Room,” an installation of plastic bags that seems to breath itself.

Bushwick Basel at Starr Space (108 Starr Street, ground floor)

Oh, Bushwick, you crazy-ass place that pretends to be anti-establishment when it suits you. You land of apartment galleries galore, studios that are never open when they say they’re going to be open, people who pretend they live only 10 minutes from Union Square (when it’s really more like 30) and you skinny jeaned epicenter of hipsterdom … oh, how we love and hate you at the same time.

Now, y’all had to go and come up with an art fair! You just had to turn the most DIY event around into something aping the commercial scene, right? And you named it Basel? Oh, geez.

Sure, we’ll attend this — and there better be free champagne! —HV

With listings by Hrag Vartanian

Jillian Steinhauer is a former senior editor of Hyperallergic. She writes largely about the intersection of art and politics but has also been known to write at length about cats. She won the 2014 Best...

One reply on “Art Rx: 2012 Bushwick Open Studios Edition”

  1. yowsa- we have a teeny studio tour compared to this- only 30-some stops in a weekend. But yours looks by FAR more entertaining and fun for the artists! (they won’t let us serve alcohol at ours 🙁

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