These days “Gowanus” is a neighborhood synonymous with wedding halls, artisanal foods, and social scenes. Meanwhile, hidden among the former factories, warehouses, and manufacturing buildings there are hundreds of working artists. Some have been in Gowanus for over 25 years, lured there by cheap rents for gritty, raw spaces.
Today, Gowanus boasts an incomparable range of talented artists at various stages of their careers. While their artwork may be seen in galleries and exhibitions, visitors can have a much more immersive experience during the annual Gowanus Open Studios 2015 weekend.
This year, the 19th consecutive year of Gowanus Open Studios, over 300 artists will invite the public into their studios on October 17-18, from noon to 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Not only will visitors see the artwork, but will also have an opportunity to meet and talk with the artists about their inspirations and processes. Presented by the nonprofit Arts Gowanus, this open studios event offers visitors several ways to tackle what can seem like an overwhelming amount of art, ranging from entirely self-guided itineraries to highly selective, curator-led tours.
For intrepid art-lovers who have the time, energy and interest to plan their visit in advance, the online Gowanus Open Studios 2015 Directory of Artists (hosted by artsicle.com) lists all participating artists with samples of their art. Artists can be filtered by art medium and style, and visitors can create their own itinerary. A more spontaneous approach can be taken by visitors who print out a studio map from the website, or pick one up at one of the several designated map distribution locations. Balloons and signs will identify each open studio building.
For those who prefer a more tailored approach, Arts Gowanus is offering several curator-led art tours. Each tour lasts for two hours, is limited to 12 visitors, is organized around a theme, and is led by a professional art curator, such as Hyperallergic's Benjamin Sutton. (There will be a nominal fee, a donation to Arts Gowanus.) Learn how curators look at art. Listen in as curators share conversations with each artist on their tour. Also, in the works are cycling tours of the studios with bicycles provided by Rolling Orange Bike Tours. Details for all tours will be available on the website soon.
In addition to the noon to 6 pm hours of studios being open, several events are scheduled during the weekend. The very first Beat Nite Gowanus will take place on Friday, October 16. Jason Andrew and Norte Maar in collaboration with Abby Subak and Arts Gowanus are excited to present a guided tour of 10 Gowanus galleries and alternative art spaces, featuring a closing party at a location to be disclosed soon.
Arts Gowanus will also be co-sponsoring parties on Saturday and Sunday night. Saturday night’s party will be hosted by Halyards and co-sponsored by Gowanus Swim Society. Sunday night’s Closing Party will be hosted by Threes Brewing.