Highlights From Bushwick Open Studios 2014, Part 1

Bushwick Open Studios, which took place this past weekend seems to be getting bigger every year.  This year, the block parties, band line-ups, food trucks, street sellers and other entrepreneurs hoping to cash in on the event’s draw, threatened to take some of the focus off the art. On Saturday afternoon and into the evening, it was a bit of a mad-scene in the area around the Morgan L stop, with crowds of people on the sidewalks, and performers, food trucks and mobile galleries set up on a closed portion of Grattan Street. However, we had come there for the art.  Below are some of the highlights from the first day:

While Elise Graham of Rodi Gallery was definitely not the first person to set up a mobile gallery in the back of a flatbed truck at Bushwick Open Studios (or even the only one this year) I was impressed by the professionalism of her presentation and the quality of the work inside.  I was surprised to learn that the work is her own, and that of her 23 year old son, Aaron, who recently graduated from Cooper Union. Unsurprisingly, she was just featured in a New York Times article about mobile galleries.

Elise Graham

Works by Elise Graham (Photo by Johanna Lenski)

Painting by Aaron Graham

Painting by Aaron Graham (Photo by Johanna Lenski)

The next stop was 56 Bogart Street, which houses a mix of artist studios and commercial galleries. The hallways and studios were packed with visitors which made navigating the studios a bit difficult at times.

Akinori Matsumoto’s studio housed a number of fanciful sound sculptures fashioned from bamboo. This standing piece was powered by a tiny electric motor, that made it move slightly to produce lovely soothing sounds, similar to wind chimes.  Other sculptures, without motors, were meant to be worn or handled to produce sounds.

Sound sculpture by Akinori Matsumoto

Sound sculpture by Akinori Matsumoto (Photo by Vitor P Teixeira)

Autumn-Grace Dougherty was showing these wonderful paintings made from collaged and dyed fabrics, that perfectly combine areas of flat color with textile patterns.

Fabric paintings by Autumn-Grace Dougherty

Fabric paintings by Autumn-Grace Dougherty (Photo by Vitor P Teixeira)

The lush oil paintings of Mollie Hosmer-Dillard feature a wonderful combination of figurative and natural elements in more muted tones than many artists seem to be working in.

Paintings by Mollie Hosmer-Dillard

Paintings by Mollie Hosmer-Dillard (Photo by Vitor P Teixeira)

The duo Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao collaborate to make these delightful, diminutive paper sculptures based on plant forms.

Paper sculptures by Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao

Paper sculptures by Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao (Photo by Vitor P Teixeira)

Showing in the same space was Jonathan Chapline. His paintings create such an interesting flattening of space by combining the interior with the exterior world.

Paintings by Jonathan Chapline

Paintings by Jonathan Chapline (Photo by Vitor P Teixeira)

One of the commercial galleries inside 56 Bogart, THEODORE:Art, was showing these captivating ceramic works by Joyce Robins, that combine elements of both painting and sculpture. Pierced all over by circular holes, their texture combined with her lush, watercolor like application of glaze elevate these works far above the realm of craft.

Works by Joyce Robins

Works by Joyce Robins (Photo by Vitor P Teixeira)

The madness outside of 56 Bogart.

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Grattan Street (Photo by Vitor P Teixeira)

Part 2 of this article, highlighting artists working around the Jefferson L, can be found here.