Brooklyn Open Studios project

The Brooklyn Museum is getting behind something which has the potential to be very interesting: a borough-wide open studio project for artists working in Brooklyn. Artists studios will be open from 11-7 on Saturday and Sunday September 8th and 9th for viewers to wander through. Part of the design is so that viewers will sign up and then “vote” on artists whose work they enjoyed and this voting will be tallied such that the museum will then send out their curators to vet the top ten artists works and said artists will then be put into a show at the museum.

The Brooklyn Museum catches a fair amount of flack for some of their choices, most prominently the “selling out” to Bravo’s Work of Art reality show, and it can be understandable that some artists might be reticent to participate based on those choices. In my opinion, if there is one thing the Brooklyn museum does and does well, it’s speaking about community and community engagement. I feel like they are constantly hosting an ethnic celebration of one sort or another. These are the things MoMA and the Whitney won’t do, and that’s exactly why the Brooklyn Museum is doing something great in getting behind the full spectrum of creative forces in its own backyard.

If you consider the most recent Bushwick Open Studio events, with some 500+ participants (between artists, galleries, and independent short-term projects), there’s a staggering amount of creative output centered in just one of the borough’s neighborhoods. The Go project is taking that energy and spreading it out to the rest of the neighborhoods in a borough teeming with artists and creativity. Sure, that makes the possibility of being one of the ten potential artists crowdsourced for exhibition a pretty slim chance, but I believe there is something, either directly or indirectly, much more interesting about the project. I think this creates an incredibly valuable resource for independent curators, young collectors, and even seasoned arts professionals to get a behind the scenes look at what’s happening in their own neighborhoods. Things that aren’t necessarily fresh out of grad-school, and have some history and weight behind them but may still be a bit under recognized.

Artists have until July 10 to register, and potential voters can sign up starting July 17th and through the opening weekend.  I’m certainly opening my studio. Yes, I’m in an industrial wasteland with several blocks between my studio and any other form of civilization, but I figure the website will give people a preview, so they’re not coming all the way out there with an expectation of anything other than BLACK. So, really,  what’s the worst that could happen? I spend 2 days in my studio, which I’d probably be doing anyway, and maybe I have some conversations with people whom I don’t already know. I see that all as a very good thing, so I certainly hope other artists are getting on board with the project, and I hope to see some of you come through the Black Laboratory over that weekend.

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