This past weekend the Bushwick Open Studios and Arts Festival 2012 took place in over 200 locations around Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY. According to the program guide, “Bushwick Open Studios is a self-organized, collaborative festival produced by Arts in Bushwick, an all-volunteer community organization. Now in its sixth year, BOS is an exciting oppurtunity for artists to experiment outside the standard context of sales and space competition.”

BOS ’12 includes individual studios, shows, and events, involving more than 450 separate activities in 220 locations. This free annual festival invites visual artists, performers, musicians, designers and the public to celebrate creative expression together in the one of the most vital arts districts in New York City. Bushwick Open Studios takes place in a 3 square mile area, including parts of East Williamsburg, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Ridgewood. To unite the area, informational hubs close to subway and bus lines provided maps, promotional materials and information. The purpose of the festival is to create an open and inclusive event that benefits the Bushwick community through sharing artistic projects, encouraging dialogue, and fostering community engagement throughout our neighborhood.”

PLAYGROUND DETROIT, also based in Bushwick, was around to check out some of the BOS festivities. Here is our recap of just a fraction of the events that took place over June 1-3rd- there were so many! It was great to see so many people out in the neighborhood, walking around, and exploring the many artist spaces and studios that have been emerging . In Detroit this could be great idea to try out as a model to connect the growing art communities, especially in spread out creative neighbourhoods.

WET WET: GROUP ART SHOW was presented by The BLAAAHg and featured over 25 artists and band performances both Friday and Saturday on a Bushwick rooftop. Friday night featured the bands several bands, including Rifle Recoil and Splash. PLAYGROUND DETROIT was thrilled to be able to catch the Brooklyn-based band, Splash once again, making it two times in two weeks! Last Saturday the band also just played in Detroit at the ADULT CONTEMPORARY ART AFTERPARTY and had the pleasure to see them play back in Brooklyn. We will be posting an interview with the band soon!

HOLY BOS! was “named after the immense Bobby Redd church at 626 Bushwick Avenue. This was another event put on for BOS. The 2 day and 3 night event seeks to celebrate and promote the arts in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The church has 27,000 sq ft. of space in addition to an adjacent lot filled with arts in all forms. The weekend-long event featured visual installations, cosmic yoga, a brunch by Secret Restaurant to live music, film screenings and exceptional art performances, offering a playground for the creative minds.”

One of the most fantastic parts of HolyBOS! was the Simulacra Project by Light Harvest Studio, led by Ryan Uzilevsky. A digitally mapped psychedelic visualization was displayed in the church while bands performed live music during the constantly changing light show.


From the HolyBOS! website- http://holybos.com/simulacra
This large scale video mapping installation taking place in an abandoned neo-gothic church questions the procession of symbols and simulations making up our post-modern human experience. Like a map with no territory, these symbols hint at the existence of a hyper-reality, while quite possibly the true essence of reality becomes increasingly hermetic, crumbling and decaying from disuse. Now that the simulation proceeds the original, is the modern experience of beauty, divinity and love merely alienating us from the true essence of these qualities?

“Simulacra” was created by Ryan Uzilevsky and produced by Light Harvest Studio and Bobby Redd. The work features sound design by Brandon Wolcott and Sky White Tiger. With visual fx collaborators Whitney Alexander, Kevin Bleich, and Jon Seagull. Additional art direction by Chris Pugliese.

SPREAD ART, an artist organization providing artist residencies with a focus on New York and Detroit, run by Thomas Bell and Christina deRoos, was also an official ‘hub’ of  BOS.

SPREAD ART is an artist-run creative incubator designed to foster new works through collaborations with artists and curators from around the world. They support emerging artists through group and solo exhibitions, music events, and performance showcases and also assists artists and arts organizations to begin new art events or evolve existing events in their community. “- VIA SPREADART.ORG

They showed their 5th Annual “Summer Group Show” which included the works of multiple visual artists (mostly Detroit-based) working in a variety of mediums and feature the works of Spread Art’s current artists-in-residence: Thomas Bell, Christina deRoos, Valerie Kuehne, Brian McCorkle, and Esther Neff.  Additional works on display were: Justin Orvis Steimer, Christian Stolarz, Abigail Weg, Lara Goetzl, Michael Blase, Michael Pawlus.