When The Bushwick Collective announced that their fifth annual block party will be held on June 5 this year, they alluded to the possibility of filling the void left behind by the Bushwick Open Studios. As we’re sure you remember, Arts in Bushwick announced that their 10th annual Bushwick Open Studios will be held in October this year instead of the usual June for reasons they would discuss in depth at a town hall meeting on March 30 in Mayday Space.
Yesterday, Joe Ficalora, the man behind the famed outdoor curatorial street art project spanning across 20 blocks around the Jefferson L train stop confirmed details of his epic plan to celebrate the fifth anniversary of The Bushwick Collective during the weekend of June 3-5.
Pop-Up Exhibition Art Fair at Randolph Street
The festivities will begin on Friday, June 3, with an opening of a pop-up art fair at 555 Johnson Ave. (with a second entrance at 198 Randolph St.) in East Williamsburg. This enormous warehouse space will host four exhibitions.
The first exhibition area will belong to Bushwick artists residing within the 11237 ZIP code area, which comprises of parts of Bushwick, East Williamsburg and Ridgewood.
This exhibition area will resemble an art fair where each of the artists will have a designated booth. One important difference is that The Bushwick Collective will not charge artists any fees related the exhibition or sale of their works. “We wanted to go above and beyond for these artists,” Joe Ficalora told us. “There won’t be any commissions charged from the sale of artists’ works, nor electrical or building fees either,” he said.
However, the space is limited in capacity and interested artists will have to apply through an open call on The Bushwick Collective website, which Joe promised to launch this Friday, March 18.
“We’ll do our best to accommodate as many artists as we can,” Ficalora told us, emphasizing that he doesn’t know the exact number of artists who will be able to participate, as the exact square footage of the space on Randolph Street is still being negotiated.
The second exhibition area will belong to the curated art show “Beyond the Walls,” featuring works by street artists from The Bushwick Collective.
Parsons School of Design and its students will fill the third exhibition area with their programming. Parsons is also a sponsor of the event, according to Ficalora.
The fourth and the final art fair space will be occupied by the Museum of the City of New York, which, according to Ficalora, will curate an art show dedicated to Bushwick and Brooklyn.
The pop-up exhibition center will be open from Friday, June 3, to Sunday, June 5.
The Block Party
As we announced in February, The Bushwick Collective plans to hold their annual fifth block party in the triangle of Troutman Street, St. Nicholas Avenue and Scott Avenue on Saturday, June 4.
Traditionally, the party features live street art painting, live music and raffles as well as a food trucks and likely a beer tent. The lineup of artists and musicians is currently in the works, and Ficalora wasn’t able to confirm any names just yet.
Throughout the entire weekend, any artists (not just the ones from 11327 ZIP code area) will be able to open their studios to the public. Nooklyn, a local real estate broker firm and tech startup, has donated an app through which artists can register their studios. Similarly, visitors can download the app and explore the studios on a handy map.
Nooklyn has not yet provided details about the app, and we will update with this information when it is available.
Other sponsors of the weekend besides Parsons School of Design and Nooklyn are Montana’s Trail House, a local restaurant at 455 Troutman St., and Mana Urba Arts, with whom The Bushwick Collective previously partnered in Miami.
Earlier this month, there was controversy around an anonymous organization called “Bushwick Arts Festival,” which created a website and social media profiles encouraging Bushwick artists to register for an open studio event they would hold between June 3 and June 5. As previously reported by Bushwick Daily, Bushwick-based artist, freelance web designer Bushwick Bomb blogger Brandon Mickman spearheaded that project.
Ficalora tells Bushwick Daily that The Bushwick Collective was initially in contact with Brandon Mickman who approached them as a volunteer, but their visions for the event were not in synch and Mickman is not involved in their events.
Mickman confirmed last night that he still plans to hold Bushwick Arts Festival independently.
Five years ago, Bushwick-born Joe Ficalora lost his mother to cancer. Overcome with grief, he couldn’t face the walls of Bushwick filled with memories and loss anymore. Acting on an impulse, he Googled “street art” and invited first artists to Bushwick to cover up the walls with something beautiful.
The rest is history. The murals of The Bushwick Collective are heavily Instagrammed, wildly beloved, often covered up with billboards and sometimes criticized, but above all, they are central to the Bushwick arts community in 2016.