City Wide Open Studios 2010

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

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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Karen Dow and Christopher Mir

Karen Dow and Christopher Mir are married and share space in their garage, which they converted into a studio. Three of Mir’s paintings look like this—

—and this—

—and this.

And two of Karen Dow’s paintings look like this—

—and this.

Nothing in common, right? Wrong.

Mir’s paintings start from collages he makes in Photoshop, from found images, pictures he takes himself (he had one of the collages out for spectators to see; sadly, my brain wasn’t yet functioning enough to understand that I should have taken a picture of it for you to see; people, please blame me). Why paint them then, I asked. Part of it was what Mir called a commitment to painting as an art form. But another part of it, he explained, is that painting the collages forced the eye to see the images first as coherent wholes, to take them in all at once. In doing so, Mir was able to riff on the surrealist premise that there is, after all, such a thing as the unconscious, and that there should be room to play, to get lost in a thing without having to impose meaning on it right away.

Dow told me that once she too had been a more realist painter, but over time, she grew steadily more abstract, more interested in form and color than in depicting images; part of the reason, it seemed, was the same playing with meaning. See a painting of a chair, you think, “hey, that’s a chair.” See a painting of something that’s harder to read, and it’s harder to know what to think.

And Dow, like Mir, starts from collages; from photographs. Here’s a photograph Dow was working from—

—and here’s the painting.

Another photograph—

—and another painting.

On the way out, I mentioned to Dow how my own taste in art was moving toward more abstract paintings. She said something casually about how she likes the way more abstract paintings work in a room, because a realistic painting is like a window to another place, while an abstract painting changes the place you’re in. I understood what she meant; she said easily what I’d been trying to formulate for myself. And I thought of how similar both Dow and Mir were—different approaches, but the same interest, in getting us to look differently.

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Artspace Underground

On Saturday, Artspace hosted a signature ‘Underground‘ party at the gallery, with some live art, music, and of course drinks.   I hadn’t been to the gallery yet (gasp!) to see the exhibition with everyone participating in City Wide Open Studios, so I was glad to have a chance to check out the show.

If you haven’t seen the CWOS exhibit you should check it out.

Live something or other being created before your very eyes.

Personally, I was a huge fan of the snacks.  Did someone make that guacamole live, too?  Delicious.

This is a piece from one of my high school teachers, Anna Broell-Bresnick.

If Jesus had Machine Guns provided monochromed angst.

It soon got packed!  It was fun to see such a diverse crowd at Artspace

More three dimensional offerings from the show

I wonder where the after party was?

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sundays tour

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saturdays ride

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Saturdays Tour!

the weather was amazing, the ride pleasant and easy, the art and artist INCREDIBLE !

ok, so sadly i can no download pics, i have the wrong cable. opps!!

pics to come.

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Private Studios

This weekend, City Wide Open Studios peeks inside private studios all around the greater New Haven area.  It’s always neat to get the opportunity to look at the spaces where artists work, getting a firsthand glimpse into their process and hopefully insight into what they’re thinking about.  I brought my friend Kiki to check out the spaces at 91 Shelton Street in New New Haven this afternoon, really great, spacious studios with amazing views.

I liked this hat sculpture in Philip Lique‘s studio.

some of Lique’s mixed media collages.

and another one of Lique’s pieces on the floor.

Cool Tools

A peek into Laura Marsh‘s sculpture studio

Oops, got distracted by Trina….

We stopped to chat with Perry Obee

Perry paints interior views of his studio

One more of Perry’s pieces

Expose yourself to art

Check out these views!  I’m very jealous of these spaces.  Weren’t there more artists here a few years ago?

Well it’s been a while since I’ve been here, it’s good to see a lot of work going on at 91 Shelton St.  Thanks Kiki for coming with me!

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Thank Hank!

Hank Hoffman from CT Arts Scene spent some time at Erector Square last weekend getting to know several artists.  Read some of his exciting conversations here.

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it is perfect weather for the CWOS Bike Tours.
So come on out for a ride and lots of great art!!

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