City-Wide Open Studios: Thanks for inviting me
Having only attended the City-Wide Open Studios once several years ago, and living outside the New Haven art world, I had no idea what a vast and controversial event CWOS had become. I thought I could see it all on Sunday afternoon. Too bad I didn't set aside more time because I'm sure there are a slew of interesting studios and shows that I missed. Since Hank has already written about the politics, I'll simply share some images from Erector Square and AIRS Hamden. Like Hank, I appreciate the Artist Directory (regardless of image quality), and agree that each neighborhood should have its own weekend. In addition to making it possible to see all the studios, spreading several events out over the course of a year would enable artists to visit one another's studios, fostering greater community among the artists themselves. Forget worrying about pleasing the collectors and curators--if they're interested they'll make the effort however the event is organized.
Artists at Hamden AIRS having their gallerina moment.
Overall, I loved the AIRS Hamden space, the installation, and choice of work in the show, which was curated by Clint Jukkala. On the other hand, I can live without the lengthy wall texts explaining each artist's intention. Let viewers come to their own understanding of the work. Standouts included Jessica Schwind's beach scenes which have a lovely bittersweet sensibility. In Bradley Dean Wollman's recreated war scenes (pictured above) the formal elegance made them exquisitely chilling.
Deborah Hesse and her delicate shifting-shadow studies at Erector Square.
A palette at Erector Square. The studios that hadn't been converted to clean, gallery-like spaces gave visitors a sense of the artist's process.
Mark Williams' drawing with lights.
Nathan Lewis(seated) constructs a narrative with an interested visitor.
Recent MFA grad Barbara Marks thinks of her paintings as words in a sentence.
I covet Megan Craig's painting racks.
Morel Morton with her paintings at Erector Square. A recovering chromaphobic myself, I envy her chumminess with color.
I also stopped by Artspace to see CONNcentric, and probably would have liked the exhibition less had I not already been to many of the artists' studios. Seeing their unedited work provided a context for the individual pieces selected for the show.
My two cents: I hope the organizers do it again next year--there's still plenty of work out there I look forward to seeing.