Combining crowdsourcing with the perennial trend of participatory art, GO Brooklyn, which will debut this weekend in New York’s most populous borough, is an attempt to produce a “community curated open studio project.” The pilot program is an experimental exhibition organized by The Brooklyn Museum, made capable through collaboration with a host of volunteer delegates coordinating the composite neighborhoods. In order to participate, you must be an artist with a registered studio or a registered voter who can “check-in” at any given location via an Internet application. Participants can nominate up to three of their favorite artists, but only after checking in at a minimum of five studios. Nominations will be tallied from the GO Brooklyn I-phone app, text messages, or numeric codes assigned to each studio on the mobile website. Ten artists with the highest number of votes will be awarded a studio visit from a Brooklyn Museum curator to select work for an exhibition opening at the museum on December 1, 2012.
Despite the numerous (and somewhat exclusionary) parameters of the project, the website is surprisingly clean and well designed. Under the “explore” tab, 12 artists are featured from a selection of randomly chosen studios (out of hundreds of registered locations) and users can also search with a keyword or name. Results are filterable by location, accessibility, and/or medium. The best feature? Registrants can save noteworthy entries to a sharable itinerary list to help organize (and remember) their path.
Over 1750 studios are signed up for GO Brooklyn, making it nearly impossible for visitors to hit every one in the two-day span. To help intimidated art-seekers get started, here is a link to my own tentative itinerary (subject to change based on ambition level and reliability of public transportation in Brooklyn, which, on any given weekend, is spotty at best.)
I am curious to explore studios in the Navy Yard, one of the more historic artist enclaves in Brooklyn. It’s a bit off the beaten path, but well worth the visit in my opinion: waterfront views of Manhattan’s skyline, spacious studios, and an establishment of accomplished, mature artists. BLDG 92, located at 63 Flushing, just opened a new visitor center, exhibition space, and coffee spot, in addition to free shuttle service from Downtown Brooklyn. Don’t miss: John King‘s “graphite fields of shading that precisely describe volume and light“, Myrna Gordon‘s organic sculptures, and Poby’s World.
Next on my list are some studios in the Gowanus and Redhook area (with an upcoming Open Studios of its own this October, Gowanus is the area surrounding the canal just southeast of Red Hook), but I am most excited to see Brian Kenny‘s sculptures (I love anything involving taxonomy, shadow boxes and/or miniatures); the figurative paintings of Charles Miller; and Ethan Greenbaum’s refined landscapes, to name a few on my list.
FYI, Kenny’s location – Screwball Studios at 183 Lorraine St. – is home to numerous other GO Brooklyn-registered artists that look worthy of a visit.
If I’m feeling very ambitious, I may try and make it out to some lesser-known areas (for art studios, at least) like Coney Island/Brighton Beach/Sheepshead Bay Area. I want to see Gerard Barbot’s quirky found-object pieces and check out what an enamel shop looks like at Howard Eisman’s studio.
The plan is to end up in Greenpoint at the end of the day, which is my favorite neighborhood in Brooklyn (after Bushwick of course) because it is home to Five Leaves, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, Beloved, and several friends’ apartments. Romanian painter Dan Sabau will opens his studio doors, as well as video and performance artist Bruce McClure. I’m also hoping to squeeze in a visit to Gabriela Salazar space to see some of her large-scale sculptures in situ.
Check back next week for a recap of the weekend.