City Wide Open Studios 2010

Artspace's 13th City-Wide Open Studios – from a few angles.

Alternative Space

The final weekend of City Wide Open Studios brought me (and many others) to the Alternative Space on College Street:

I enjoyed seeing all the different ways artists used the space.  From simply hanging work to transforming it entirely, each artist offered something unique.

Here are just a small handful of favorites:

Margaret Roleke — I was struck particularly by the many layers in Roleke’s work.  I loved how the natural light added even more dimension to the above all black piece.

Roleke with “Tinkerbelle at War”

At first glance, not only did the work look two-dimensional, but I also did not even see Tinkerbelle lurking in the background!  On further inspection, the toy soldiers emerged and the piece reminded me of a giant game of Risk.  Finally Tink appeared, adding yet another layer.

Kelly Kapp — I enjoyed Kapp’s mobile-like sculptures of household appliances and other plastics.  Here too I had to look twice before realizing each object’s identity!

“The Peep Show” — In search of the bathroom, we opened the curtain slowly, unsure if we were really allowed in.  Low and behold, a small group of chairs and a projected video of break dancers awaited us.  The element of discovery here was great!

Janice Barnish — I enjoyed Barnish’s quiet installation: “Flight Assistance.”  Tiny plastic compasses covered the floor and brightly colored binoculars poked out of the blinds, perched on window ledges.  Birdbath-like structures stood empty.

“The Bough House”  — I approached this work feeling a little nervous, but decided after a few moments to just follow the direction and


As you make your way through the smashed hole in the wall and look around at the debris covering the ground, you get a sense of urgency and perhaps anger. Then you look up at the branches jabbed through the walls above you and notice they are actually carefully lodged in and almost intricately woven together.

Once on the other side,  you stand up to meet a delicate installation hanging from the ceiling paired with smashed oranges on the ground.  The natural light floats in from the open screen door adding to a sense of eery release.

As other bloggers have noted, many people wondered whether to crawl or not to crawl.  I sure am happy I did!

All in all, I had a wonderful time discovering the many artists at the Alternative Space and throughout this year’s City Wide Open Studios!

Thanks Artspace!  And thanks New Haven!


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A Fine Bunch: October 2nd and 3rd in New Haven

During City Wide’s opening weekend, I was unfortunately busy barista-ing. However, the buzz was sure a buzzin’!  I overheard many discussions of favorite artists and their work.  And while sorry to miss the Erector Square extravaganza, I thoroughly enjoyed this past weekend.

Saturday saw a journey to a handful of artists’ private studios.  Highlights included seeing Joan Fitzsimmons’ photography and Alan Neider’s sculpture at their studio in Hamden; chatting over wine and snacks with John Jessen at his studio in Westville; realizing that the impressive Gar Waterman taught me stone sculpture at Foote School and Gar realizing that (to his dismay) this was over ten years ago!  By the end of the day, I found myself inspired, energized and full of ideas.

That evening, I enjoyed Artspace’s Underground event, particularly, watching Silas Finch work:

The following day, I opened my East Rock studio.  I found that merely organizing my studio beforehand got me excited to share my work as well as to start new projects.  A good number of people came though, including the Devil’s Gear tour. a few friends and a few strangers. Highlights included my neighbor thanking me for keeping art alive in the neighborhood and the jogger who saw my sign and flew in 3 minutes to 5pm, happy to catch at least a small part of CWOS.

All in all, I felt the weekend was quite inspirational, motivational and just plain fun.  It’s certainly something to discover the massive network of talented artists living in your own hometown!  And how proud I am to be part of such a fine bunch!

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