From the edge of the East Williamsburg Industrial Park to the not yet gentrified corners of Myrtle Avenue and Broadway, criss crossing with BedStuy, flirting with Greenpoint, meshing with Ridgewood in the best of ways: this is our one and only Bushwick. This year our artsy enclave was named one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world. The ever growing art scene lured admirers to visit and even to stay awhile, taking it all in and rowing with the neighborhood’s tide. Early 2014’s winter brought us closer to our artists crafts and curated projects, as usual spring was not afraid of change (remember the 17-17 Troutman galleries), the Armory suffused through Bushwick and summer saw some great vibes with Bushwick Open Studios and the Lower East Side. Now past the fall, which held an awesome Beat Nite: Exchange Rates edition, the he(art) beat goes on into the midway mark of the current decade…
#1 Bushwick Art Crit Group Expanded its Team and Traveled a Bunch!
In 2014 BACG officially became a non profit organization following the celebration of the group’s one year anniversary in March. The team grew to include Eric Gotshall (Director of BACG Artist Film Library), Drew Van Diest (Director of Social Media), Kelsey Shwetz (Director of Exhibitions) and Dan Plaxe (Director of Development). BACG held #MutualBenefit and traveled to Miami for Art Basel as well as Buffalo for the Echo Art Fair; Drew told us about the 10 Dos and Don’ts for a Professional Post-Grad School Crit and founder Christopher Stout’s passion for art and solidarity is one of the 101 reasons we’re thankful to live in Bushwick.
#2 OUTLET Chartered a Bus Tour for Armory Late Night
Back in March all of Bushwick celebrated as Armory Arts Week suffused through the city and into our artsy enclave. John Silvis and Jason Andrew of OUTLET chartered the first ever bus tour that brought the Armory-going Manhattanites over for the Bushwick/Ridgewood Gallery Tour and Late Night event. Led by Julian Jimarez-Howard, those who attended were treated to a whirlwind ride from Transfer Gallery to Storefront Ten Eyck, on to openings at Schema Projects, Lorimoto, The Living Gallery and many more.
#3 Bushwick-based Performance Artists “In Orbit” at The Boiler
Coinciding with the buzz of Armory Arts week two Bushwick-based artists made national headlines with their 10-day live performance of “In Orbit” inside The Boiler | Pierogi in Williamsburg. Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley lived inside of what the media deemed “a giant hamster wheel” from February 28 to March 9, talking with visitors, answering to the media and combating those hipster headlines.
#4 A Change for the Galleries of 17-17 Troutman
In May we reported that the galleries of 17-17 Troutman were being kicked out of the vast loft building, presenting a huge blow to the local art scene. These galleries and artist-run cooperatives included Parallel Art Space, Harbor Gallery, Regina Rex Gallery, Bull and Ram, Ortega Y Gasset Projects and Underdonk.
What have they been up to since? During October’s Exchange Rates Parallel Art Space collaborated with OUTLET on a huge group show inside The Active Space; Harbor Gallery reopened (as harbor) in the Lower East Side alongside Regina Rex, Bull and Ram curated a show at Psuedo Empire in November, and Ortega y Gasset Projects is presenting “Tightened, As If by Pliers” at The Knockdown Center through January 25, 2015.
#5 Bushwick Open Studios Was Bigger Than Ever
This year over 600 artists, galleries and studios participated in Bushwick Open Studios (BOS), which has been organized yearly by the awesome volunteers at Arts In Bushwick. Bushwick Daily created another No BS BOS curated pocket guide on what to see during this major weekend event. We also stepped inside 14 select studios to find out what the artists could not live without. Julie Torres’ sprawling curatorial project took over the newly renovated Livestream Public building (formerly Third Ward) with “Do It Yourself.” We saw fashion in art with these stylish works from BOS, including the amazing masks created by Max Steiner. Local fashion blogger Hortencia Caires, known as “Style Feen,” also chimed in with Steiner’s holographic masks.
And then Bushwick Daily Founder and Editor Katarina Hybenova asked our dear neighborhood, will you still be my friend when you change?
#6 Bushwick Artists Took Over the Lower East Side
Later in the summer, a bunch of Bushwick artists carried their art east across the H2O, catching vibes with Manhattan’s Lower East Side: Dr. Lisa Levy was a part of “How to Write An Artist Statement” at Mulherin, Julia Sinelnikova became known as “The Oracle” at Vector 2.0 Gallery and Julie Torres did it again with her “Family Style” show at the former Pocket Utopia Space. We viewed Bushwick’s industrial landscape hung across the walls of The Con Artist Collective, from rooftop shots to skyward views and colorful murals that have since been covered and gone.
#7 New Photo Studio and Darkroom: ArtPhotoArt Opened
ArtPhotoArt (APA), a new photo lab, darkroom and studio space opened back in September. You already know the owners Ryan Bevilacqua and Patricia Maldonado from Loft 594 which was pushed out of its location on Bushwick Avenue by condo developments. APA has held two gallery shows since opening, and features a 24/7 private dark room plus on-site classes on how to use a film camera, develop and print.
#8 Bushwick Galleries Hosted the Exchange Rates International Expo
A lot of buzz took place around October’s Exchange Rates — an international expo that brought galleries from all over the world to share in the artistic zeitgeist of Bushwick. Organized by Stephanie Theodore of Theodore:Art and Centotto’s Paul D’Agostino with London-based indie Sluice Art Fair, the event model first took place when several Bushwick galleries participated in Sluice 2013. Highlights included Queens Park Railway Club from Glasgow and A Brooks Art, hosted by Fuchs Projects and “Alterred Terrain” at The Active Space which included the Beijing-based Telescope Gallery, Fort Gallery from London and Artist Proof Studio from Johannesburg, South Africa alongside OUTLET, Associated Gallery and Parallel Art Space.
#9 Norte Maar’s Collaborative Performance at Brooklyn Museum
On the first day of November an ensemble of visual artists, dancers, musicians and poets took over The Brooklyn Museum with The Brooklyn Performance Combine, and it was epic! We alluded to a trojan horse performance which was to some degree in response to Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, and Beyond and its daring claim to be exhibiting the borough’s hottest artists. Jason Andrew reminisced later in his blog that throughout the show sculptor Ben Godward assembled an original work on site then handed out dismantled pieces to the audience. The unrehearsed event also included a tap dancer rising above the audience, a roaming violist and William Powhida’s satirizing critique of Loren Munk’s Re-Crossing Brooklyn: A Partial Resurvey of Unconsidered Artists and of the Museum as a whole.
#10 New Online Art Gallery Sugarlift Opened in the Fall
Micro climates and mini movements are forming over at 200 Morgan Avenue where the new online art gallery, Sugarlift, is based. Wright Harvey and Bart Piela launched the company in November to connect artists with artists—pairing them with someone who has already mastered the medium and commissioning new works that are affordable and accessible for younger collectors. Filling the need to collect current works by artists of our generation and our age, Sugarlift is an exciting new edition to the neighborhood art scene. Bushwick Daily will have more to come on this, and watch for their new seasonal collection in February! New to the neighborhood? You can learn how to navigate the madness with our guide to the Bushwick art scene with information on select galleries, studio spaces, where to submit your work plus who’s who in the neighborhood.