From the Pencil Factory to the Fowler Arts Collective to tons of individual artist studios, the Northside Art Festival’s Open Spaces proved that Greenpoint remains a calmer, more meditative home for artists in comparison with the bustling hipster streets of Williamsburg. While wandering around, I didn’t get the sense that I was taking in the most edgy, avant-garde art being made in New York, but I was still able to locate studios where amusing, wacky and beautiful art is created.
This year’s Northside Open Studios (formerly Greenpoint Open Studios) benefited from the publicity associated with the major north Brooklyn art, film and music festival, but what it didn’t have was the art world buzz that the Bushwick Open Studios enjoys after years of promotion. I personally think north Brooklyn is big enough for two major open studio events and, in my opinion, any opportunity to discover new talent or see artists in their natural habitat is more than welcome.
It was a beautiful day last Saturday and I took the opportunity to wander the post-industrial warehouses of north Brooklyn with the mission to explore the studios taking part in the 2010 Greenpoint Open Studios. During my afternoon of wandering I only managed to visit 30% of the studios but I, nonetheless, saw a great range of work that gave me a feel for the area — painters appear to dominate the artistic life of this corner of Brooklyn.
While I came eager to see new work by new names, I also encountered some established figures, and I even came across a large white work by artist Joe Bradley leaned up against a wall — the work was on its way to the New Jersey Museum of Contemporary Art (NJMoCA) in Asbury Park, New Jersey, which is slated to open this month. During my visit to one sculptor’s studio, Stacy Fisher, I was told that recently the world-renowned playwright Edward Albee — of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” fame — showed up a few weeks earlier to buy one of her Hydrocal, wood, hardware and latex paint sculptures … a sign of things to come for this neighborhood with infamously bad public transportation options?