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GO is a
community-curated open studio project.

Showing posts tagged bayridge
Aug 26

Artists: Think About Organizing

If you are not already joined by a shared studio building, take the opportunity to meet other artists in your neighborhood to make your own events and routes! After our neighborhood meetup in Bay Ridge, local artists formed GO Bay Ridge Artists group.

This group of artists used their collective power to make their own map connecting their studios to the surrounding area and its activities. It is aimed towards bikes and encompasses the Bays and Beaches of South Brooklyn. This map is growing and evolving in real time. I am really excited to see “the gingerbread house” a piece of local lore as I go between studios (if I get a chance to go around as Neighborhood Coordinator).

photo ceonyc via flickr

The GO Bay Ridge Artists have also formed Facebook group and anyone is welcome to join. It is great to see such initiatives splintering off of GO bringing more cohesion and activity to neighborhoods that didn’t even know the power of their own numbers.

Take advantage of the final meetups next week to organize with your fellow artists. Check the GO calendar for dates and times.

Aug 21

Is your studio off the beaten path?

Last week’s artist and voter meetup in Bay Ridge lead to some great ideas for low-density neighborhoods. Here they are as suggested by the artists themselves:

1) Make a walking route of artists studios with landmarks along the way print them out and drop them off at your info point. It will help create cohesion and bridge the gaps between studios in areas where artists are far away from each other. For example here is the Storefront Art Walk map:

2) Find the five artists around you on the GO Map and get in touch with them. Make a space at your studio with their postcards or images of their work. It will encourage visitors and voters to go explore and create a sense of cohesion.

3) Get a friend to lead an organized walk from the info point at a set time. Make a nice big sign for your neighborhood walk and set it up at the info point the Friday before GO begins. Sometimes visitors hesitate to walk into strangers’ homes in low density spots (no one else is doing it!). A little bit of organization can ease that. 

3.5) Organized tours which follow your print out are great for school groups and sunday classes too! Reach out to them and let them know they can pick up maps and use the info point as a meeting space. 

4) Have a party to celebrate your open studio and encourage your friends and family to go out in groups to neighboring studios. Walking longer distances with a friend is a lot faster and more fun! You can discuss your curatorial decisions on the way between studios.  

5) Make a bike map! Low density areas have great parks and waterfronts. Reach out to artists in other low density areas, for example a bike path from Bay Ridge> Rockaway Beach and link up in groups of 5 or more studios that way.

6) Use social media. Create a facebook group or a tumblr for your neighborhood. Upload your work and use that to link through from maps and mailers and to display at the info point as an easy link if visitors want to know more.

7) Get in touch with your info point about future events. They are often centers of culture in their own right and are happy to host more events in the future. (The Owl’s Head in particular is making plans for the next Storefront Art Walk).

Jul 31

SAW and the Owl’s Head Wine Bar in Bay Ridge

After much searching for an info point for Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, I fell upon Owl’s Head Wine Bar by way of SAW (Storefront Art Walk of Bay Ridge). Bay Ridge is mainly a residential community with no arts organizations beyond the local YMCA’s and JCC’s. However it does have a wine bar named after its beloved waterfront park, Owl’s Head Park that has taken on some of that community role. I asked one of the owners, John Avelluto some questions about the bar and its instigations.

GO: How would you describe Bay Ridge in general?

John: Bay Ridge has an amazingly rich cultural diversity in both its present and past, which is evident in dramatic scale along it’s business landscape of 5th and 3rd ave. We also have some of the most beautiful parks in Brooklyn, offering the most generous sunsets alongside the Verrazanno Narrows bridge.

GO: Tell us about The Owls Head Wine Bar:

John: The Owl’s Head pours Bay Ridge an eclectic, distinct, and affordable selection of global wines and craft beers. Libations are carefully selected by owner John Avelluto and paired with a selection of ever-evolving savory and sweet artisanal bites prepared in consultation with Chef Michael Kogan. Our menu is served in a rustic setting that pays homage to the original design of the 1904 building. The Owl’s Head provides an intimate atmosphere to enjoy drinking, eating and good conversation with friends and family without pomp or pretension.

view from owl's head park

GO: How does it support art in the community?

John: As artists and art professionals, we at The Owls Head are commited to the arts. We are involved in organizing, presenting and participating in the 5th Ave Storefront Art Walk (http://www.bayridgesaw.org/), inviting artist to contribute work to our exterior wall and developing an original music program.

GO: Tell us about SAW.

John: The SAW gives artists the chance to work with merchants to create art that has an aesthetic connection to its surroundings. Storefronts along 5th Avenue exhibit these works, offering Bay Ridge residents and visitors a unique opportunity to engage with the visual arts and explore the dialogue between commerce, art and community. Our goal is to support and promote emerging and mid-career Brooklyn artists while celebrating local Bay Ridge businesses.

GO: How did you start SAW?

John: As an artist myself, I find it important to find voice in the community. I worked with Heather Hamilton, owner of Longs Wine and Liquors, to create a project that was able to exist within the realms of business, the public and artists studios. 

GO: What impact do you think it had in the community?

John: I think it has had a positive impact on many levels: artists within the community were able to become aware of others working in the area and have a forum to challenge their own studio practice, businesses saw increased traffic due to viewers visiting the work, and the community became immediately immersed in artwork without having to hop on a train. The reactions on all fronts have positively exceeded our expectations.

<the proprietors>

I am looking forward to collaborating with Owl’s Head Wine Bar during Open Studio weekend on September 8 and 9 as a way to foster more activity in the neighborhood. If you live in or near Bay Ridge come by any time during the weekend, not only to get informed about GO Open Studios but also to exchange ideas about future art events in the neighborhood.

Jun 12

Meet Sofy Yuditskaya, the GO Neighborhood Coordinator for Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights, and Bay Ridge. During her interview, Sharon and I were completely impressed by Sofy’s awareness of the artists in these areas - particularly her grasp of what’s going on in the Russian and Jewish communities.  She grew up in these neighborhoods and when asked if this was a lot of ground for one person to cover, her response was she used to roller blade through the streets and she extremely excited to get back to her old stomping ground.  Sofy is a media artist and designer with an impressive resume (she’s worked on projects at the Eyebeam Center for Art & Technology, the ARS Electronica Center, the Netherlands Institute voor Media Kunst, and the Games for Learning Institute).  In her own words…

I’ve lived in the area for 7-10 years.

You’ll find me hanging out at the beach!

I’ll never move from the area because the all night fruit stands are epic and the perogies are as good as they get!