Category Archives: Art

GO Brooklyn Artists + Voters Meetup // Aug 13 // 6 – 8pm

Brooklyn Museum is producing a BOROUGH WIDE open studios event Sept 8 + 9th called GO Brooklyn. I along with my studious UDA team Leia, Peter & Victoria have been chosen to represent Greenpoint and coordinate the community and all the artists within to register (registration is closed but we’ve got over 200 artists in Greenpoint waiting to open their studios), browse through the site with a total of 1800+ registered artists, create itineraries, visit studios and VOTE for their favorite artists for an opportunity to show their work at the museum this winter.

We’re hosting an artists + voters meetup this Monday, Aug 13 at Diamond Bar from 6 – 8pm. It’s a great opportunity to meet artists, mingle, browse the site, register and support the creative community of Greenpoint. Come by and take advantage of happy hour specials from the bar (43 Franklin Street)!


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Northside Art // Open Call for Artists // June 15 – 17

I’m producing the art component to Northside Festival which in few years time will oust SXSW as THE epicenter of multiculture. Their entrepreneurship component will be particularly exciting this year but I encourage all of you to focus on the art and check out some artist studios, marvel at interactive works during Williamsburg Walks, and check out the group exhibition. Until then, please help spread the word and if you’re an artist in North Brooklyn, sign up or lose.

Northside Art

June 15 – 17, 2012

Deadline to register // Extended to May 18th!
Meet & Greet // May 11th // 7pm // The Woods

About Northside Festival
Northside Festival is NYC’s largest and most accessible discovery festival. Hundreds of bands, entrepreneurs, filmmakers, innovators, and over 80,000 fans converge on Brooklyn over eight days to witness the most incredible showcase of “what’s next” in music, film, entrepreneurship, and art. Check out past photos and videos.

Northside Art
Northside Art is a three day event celebrating a burgeoning art scene in North Brooklyn. It serves to create a collaborative platform for artists through exhibitions, performances, panels, and our signature open studios. Our goal is to build a creative platform in which all members of the community can foster and contribute to a support system that encourages the sharing of ideas and relationships.

Group Exhibition // June 15 – 17 // Opening Reception June 15 // 7 – 10pm
This year we look forward to hosting a group exhibition that reflects the local artist community and the synergy between their works and practices. The opening night of Northside Art will launch with an exhibition opening on Friday, June 15 and will be on view thru Sunday, June 17.

Williamsburg Walks // June 16 // 2 – 8pm
On Saturday June 16, Northside Art will participate in the staple neighborhood community event by featuring works from local artists with a focus on interactive performances and sculptures.

Northside Open Studios // June 17 // Noon – 6pm
Northisde Art is proud to host the annual Northside Open Studios with 100+ artists living and working in Williamsburg and Greenpoint opening their studios to the public to engage in conversation, education, collaboration, and appreciation.

If you are interested in participating in any of these components please fill out this submission form.
If you have any questions please feel free to email us at

Submission Guidelines
We encourage artists working in all mediums to register for one or all three components within Northside Art. We are open to all curatorial ideas and suggestions and our team can mediate communication, production, and promotion.
There is a $10 fee to open your studio on Sunday. The cost helps us manage communication, promotion, and printing!

Join us for our meet & greet May 11th, this Friday at The Woods!
The Meet & Greet is a great way for artists to get familiar with the event and fellow participating artists.

Call for Volunteers
We will never fall short of need helping to run all things for installation and promotion to communication and management. Email us if you’d like to be involved in producing an art event that supports and engages the local art community.


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Creative Arts Program in March: Learn to Write, Develop Social Skills, Manipulate Images and More

In an ongoing effort to help Skillshare develop their growing Creative Arts Program some of teachers that taught in February are back this month to share their wise wisdoms on topics like art writing, networking, photoshopping, and managing grad school while working. In detail:

This THURSDAY Kyle of artinfo will provide tips on writing about art whether you’re an artist or an art writer. His background as an editor and writer will be super helpful in giving access to a private blog of writing materials and personal online feedback on a piece of writing. You can’t get more hands-on than that.

On March 20th Margaret will teach you how to manage attending grad school while working full time. Now this is no small feat. Never underestimate the double task of reading stacks of art history books while reconciling your boss’ multiple bank accounts. It takes gumption to manage these demanding tasks and Margaret will tell you from her own experience how to keep your head straight AND score straight A’s.

Do you ever get frustrated with image cropping? It sounds so simple and you’ve got Photoshop to manipulate it but you JUST CAN’T FIGURE IT OUT? Well, on March 31st artist Micah Ganske will teach you 10 super useful things in Photoshop that you can use to find quality images, present your work that doesn’t look like it’s been shot by your baby cousin, and get Photoshop to crop that damn image.

Also on March 31st artist Colette Robbins will share productive networking skills without selling your soul. Artists have an ingrained crutch centered around “selling out” which is complete bullshit and counterproductive to gaining the success you’d want as a creative professional. Colette can rid these insecurities and false know-hows, teaching you strategies on effectively approaching people in this art world we love to hate.

There is so much to learn and so little time so whether you’re a recent graduate / aspiring artist or you’re an old timer with a garage filled with paintings dating back to the ’70s do yourself a favor and take a nab at these classes. You’d never know, you might have a thing or two to share yourself in no time.

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Art Fair Week Highlights

Despite having been determined and compulsively excited to catch the dozen art fairs that hit town this past weekend I only managed to catch a couple. Perhaps it was being insanely busy with work, perhaps I stopped caring a little bit, perhaps it’s just not worth the hype anymore. Whatever the case I walked away with some (un)sound thoughts:

The Armory Show sucked. Considering all the glitz and sheer volume of participating galleries there was literally NOTHING that interested me. Talk about disappointment!! OK, if I HAD to pick ONE artist that was in the slightest bit intriguing and not as easily dismissible it’d have to be duo Simmons & Burke who creates meta digital collages culled from hundreds of thousands of images from the interwebs. It’s chaotic, dirty, and representative of the state of my brain online.

Independent provided much relief and hope. That all is not lost in the art world, that good art (for lack of a better term) DOES exist and there certainly are people out there who know what they’re doing. The space was open and complimented by natural light with little compartmentalizing. There were sculptures and installations galore and there was no work going out of its way to garner attention. Except for maybe the giant swing made out of what looked like personal debris from an occupy wall street protester.

I found the above installation view of the old Dia building’s whitewashed brick wall & industrial window too fitting with a shaded white painting by Sam Windett.

Volta was mediocre at best. A lot of paintings and drawings, none of which really drew me in deep. The most niftiest booth prize goes to the folks who presented ipads on pedestals with sound inducing apps hooked on to old school boomboxes. It was playful, interactive, refreshing, and very new. It offered a nice change in scenery from the often stifling stillness of art.

The last few years I’ve listed all the images I took in a post. This year I’ll keep them all in a flickr set and not describe my reactions to them individually. Call me lazy but I think they’re all pretty self-explanatory and the ones I think were worthy to mention here I have done so…yea.

You can find a full set of images from the fairs on my flickr page.

I didn’t take any pictures from Fountain Art Fair because my eyes just about threw up and I couldn’t bare being in that space for too long. It was awful! I think it showcased the worst of the NY art world, especially the emerging art scene in Brooklyn. Otherwise the booths were outcasts from Kingston and Korea. There was a little Korea town set up in one corner of the Armory and it baffled me. The fair showcased the worst of the worst: gutterpunk spraypainted street art resembling paintings of half naked girls with pierced nipples, frivolous flimsy abstract paintings in pastel shades of blue and pink, walk in sculptures made of cardboard box cutouts with shot glasses and empty liquor bottles, live painting of a van, free beer in red plastic cups, walls lit in studio clamp lights hanging off a grid of 2×4’s. I’ve seen it all.

This year I’ve learned the importance of curating your roster of galleries and the people behind them when producing an art fair. I also learned how important presentation and viewing experience really is. I love that Volta provides printed material for all participating galleries. It creates uniformity. I hate that Fountain couldn’t do better with lighting, install, signage. I loved Independent’s use of vinyls along the vertical edges of walls. I loved their curation. I walk away this year taking notes in preparation of my own art fair. It’s coming.

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Communicating About Art Online with Hyperallergic

I’ve mentioned it numerous times before: Hrag is the biggest art whore I’ve ever met. He’s the best in supporting the art community both online and off, talking about it and giving all his participatory energy into it. He’s so good that he’s recently received an award for it, which he passed on to #OWS. He’s also my gay dad.

As editor of the art blogazine Hyperallergic, Hrag is particularly engaged in how art lives online, how it’s communicated on social platforms and how media art translates on a screen. He recently taught a class on communicating about art online as part of the Skillshare Creative Arts Program I’m helping build. Here’s an interview where he rabbles on about how you can engage your audience as a writer, artist, and curator. He’ll be teaching more of these classes soon.

How is the way an artist might engage online different from that of curators or art writers?

It depends on their medium and what they want to get out of their online presence. The online world is not a one size fits all thing. But for artists it’s important to know that it’s their images that sell their work so they must seek an effective way to showcase visuals online. Art writers and curators often get ideas from the online world so it can be as (if not more) important than a gallery show as more people will engage with the world online than offline.

It’s pretty easy for an art enthusiast to explore all shows and gossip they’d want to find online but more often than not it’s a passive experience. What are some tips you can provide to engage with art online?

I think the key is to be discerning. There’s a lot of garbage online but there are also gems (even if they are statistically fewer than the bad stuff). You should also trust you friends and associates to help you find the gems. Curate your friends list, that’s crucial. We don’t have limitless time to peruse the online world but if you have a circle of 100 people who regularly look at art online, imagine how much more work your circle will be seeing and the potential to find great work increases.

How did you successfully stimulate conversations online on your very first blog before Hyperallergic was born and before social media platforms like twitter was used to spread your thoughts like a disease?

Disease?! HAHAHA! Well, there was a little bit of luck involved in the process and, of course, linking to others was more crucial than it is now. The audience then was different than now, and frankly I think people today have more respect for online writing than they did then.

How has twitter shaped the way you experience art online as opposed to other platforms like blogging and commenting?

Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr are quickly replacing feed readers. I use them to gauge interest in topics, I use them to find breaking news, interesting perspectives, etc. They are my network news and more effective for me than Al Jazeera, BBC or MSNBC. For instance, during the art fairs — whether in New York, Miami or elsewhere — social media
is a better way to gauge what’s happening and who is seeing what.

The art world has a long way to go in engaging with the public through digital platforms. Where there are apps every other day being created for the food industry for example there are only a handful that enhances the art experience both viewing and creating. What do you think will be the future of communicating about art online?

The art world is smaller than the food industry or those other fields. It’s a matter of time though. Museums, art schools and online art publications will be at the forefront of that innovation since galleries, who rely on older collectors, have less of a reason to innovate.

In terms of the future, I think memes will be more important in the art world than they are now.

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Make Shit (like Ideas) Happen in Chloe’s Skillshare Class

I’ve attended Bushwick Open Studios for about 4 years in a row. If you’re not familiar, BOS is a weekend event in June where hundreds of artists open their studios to the public and show off their work. It has deeply inspired my efforts in creating an art community in Greenpoint and directly influenced the production of Greenpoint Open Studios. Chloe Bass is one of the main organizers of Arts in Bushwick, the volunteer based organization not only responsible for BOS but also SITE fest and other art events, and I’m proud to have reeled her in to the creative arts program for Skillshare, teaching a 5 session course on Making Shit Happen.

There is no better person that will guide you from idly ideating and turning those daydreams in to actual, factual, creative projects. She’s help you pitch, document, sustain, and manage your project from vision to execution. This is interview will help you itch a bit more about your nagging curiosity to jump off the safety bandwagon and Make Shit Happen!

When is an idea a bad idea? As in, at what point is a new idea nothing but a hindrance to current ideas-turned-into-projects? At what point do you let these bad ideas become moot?

I have a lot of ideas, and I don’t follow through on many of them. This isn’t because they’re bad ideas per se, but rather because I’m trying (in the interest of personal sustainability!) to stick with the development of new ideas that fold nicely into my existing projects and goals. I think ideas should become moot if they’re way outside the ballpark of the creative life you’re planning for yourself. But write them down anyway. They might be useful later.

Other categories of actually bad ideas usually include: ideas that cause harm to befall yourself or others, ideas that don’t really interest you as anything other than provocation, and ideas that you stole from someone else without a sense of your own investment in them.

What is one solid beginning step in transforming an idea into a project?

Tell someone else about it. There’s nothing like putting something out into the world to make it real.

What is creative project visioning & realization? Is it like a business plan or more an informal brainstorming session with the self?

For better or for worse, I’ve never written a business plan. Creative project visioning and realization starts with an informal brainstorming session (in spite of the New Yorker’s recent claim that brainstorming doesn’t work) and something that probably best falls under the rubric of “wildest dreaming” — i.e. what are your wildest dreams for this project? After that, though, it’s time to get rigorous with yourself. If your brain is anything like mine, you won’t have trouble coming up with new ideas or dream upon wild dream, and you can always throw dashes of these things into the process later. But the emphasis should be on just that: process. What is the process that you want to lay out for realizing your project, step by step? How does the process feed back into the project (or product) itself? Set something up that you’re actually excited and able to do, not some creative behemoth that you grow, day by day, to dread.

At point would I know that this idea for a creative project will need a team? There are ambitious folks out there unwilling to yield their power which results in becoming crazy and an unsuccessful project.

I think creative projects need teams from the moment they step out of the idea phase. That first person who you tell your idea to? That person is part of your team, even if informally. Any friend you tag as an expert to teach you about some fabrication process you need to achieve your project is a consultant. Everyone does this, even the power hungry.

The trickier question is really one of authorship. I am doing a project called the Bureau of Self-Recognition, and while there are people who have been working with me on this project in various capacities (Mitch McEwen and TJ Hospodar, to name two), the project itself is mine. It has collaborative aspects, but in and of itself it’s not collaborative.
Other projects, like Arts in Bushwick, are obviously impossible without a team: equal collaborators who have a shared sense of vision and ownership for the collected ideas, process, and products.

I don’t know if there’s really a tried and true rubric. I guess I employ more of a common sense, touchy-feely approach to this question: what feels right for the project? But if you come up with a rubric, let me know. Actually, that’s a great idea.

What are methods and ideas to turn your project into a monetized project?
I think that any project for which you need to buy even a single item becomes a monetized project, whether you like it or not. If the question is how to bring money back to you, that’s a bit more complicated.

What type of project idea should students come prepared with? I for one have an idea for a 3 day tech festival. Someone might want to open a salon while another might want to start a drawing series.

I know that one student who has already signed up for the class is coming in with some ideas for a residency program that she’s been awarded for the fall of 2012. She wants to plan out in advance how best to use her time there, and get started with that process ahead of time. I really respect that!

But really, any kind of creative project is fine. I’m not an expert in everything, but I’m interested in most things, and I’m happy to research alongside you to help you discover pretty much anything that falls outside the few “bad idea” categories listed above. What I really care about is why. Why do you want to do this? If you have a good why, I’ll be hooked.

What are some basics to project building structure?
Here are just a few out of many. I don’t want to give everything away before the class!

Think big for a little while (about the first 1/10 of the time you intend to spend on this project from soup to nuts), and for the rest of the time, think clearly. Streamline your idea, focus your efforts, and target your output.

Acquire some externally imposed deadlines. Nothing like being under the gun (and someone else’s gun, at that) to help you get things out of your head and into the world. Internal deadlines are terrific, but external deadlines are somehow a little more inspiring for most people.

Document your process. Even if you think it’s drivel, it still has content, and that content may come back as useful material in surprising ways down the line.

 How do you find motivation and gumption to turn an idea into a project? I witness so many people with amazing ideas that never follow thru because of lack of confidence, lack of time, lack of support.

Percentage-wise, I think I realize about the same number of my ideas as anyone else. I just appear to realize more of them because no one knows how many unrealized ideas I still have. I think I’ve been very lucky to work within a community that supports my efforts with their own corresponding work. That kind of vitality can be hard to come by, but it’s amazing if you can get it. It helps to keep your work honest, and it also helps you to build confidence.

The time issue is a big one. I haven’t figured out how to build a machine that inserts more hours into the day, but if I do, I’ll let you know. A more important thing to remember is that you won’t do your best work if you’re working constantly. Make clear choices about what’s work time, what’s play time and what’s rest time, and do them all hard and well. It may sound corny, but it honestly makes the work more fun, too.

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How to Write About Art and Sound Like You Know What You’re Talking About

I first met Kyle during his stint at the world’s most amazing art blogazine Hyperallergic and I’ve since fallen insecure and envious of Kyle’s talent as an editor and art writer. His work is the perfect blend of smart and lyrical, void of eye-roll worthy art jargon and filled instead with razor sharp clarity and on pointedness. He is taking this covetous skillset and his recent title as assistant editor of Artinfo and sharing it with you in this Skillshare class. The class is actually TONIGHT and there are a few seats left so if this interview tweaks your curiosity and you’re thirsting to know the secrets to successful art writing, check it.

Why are artists so afraid of/hate writing about their own work and process?

I think it’s because writing about any art is really intimidating, and even more so when you’re so close to your own work as an artist. You have to have that critical distance to help people to better understand the artwork you’re talking about.

Can you share one tip for artists as they write or revise their artist statements?

Avoid “artspeak” whenever possible — that means don’t use generic, overused terms that pop up in every artist and curatorial statement. Offenders include “interrogate,” “explore,” “question,” and more.

What is the current trend or voice that you’re reading in art reviews these days? Is there a stark difference between what you read in the pages of say ArtForum’s review section and a review by Paddy Johnson? Is it possible to gauge relevance between the two?

Artforum reviews may be what critics and curators read, but if you want to communicate with anyone in the mainstream, your review needs to be concise, clear, and powerful, while remaining accessible. I tend to think that the more populist writing is more relevant, with critics like Paddy really reaching out to their audiences and speaking to them.

What is the one thing that you look for in a well written art review? Personal voice? Formal descriptions?

I’d say that both personal voice and formal description are important. You have to have both an interesting angle on the work (your own personal opinion) and the writing chops to describe a show or a piece of work clearly. Having only one or the other makes for a pretty boring article.

What is one way to pitch a story to an editor without getting a cold shoulder? Let’s say I’ve written a draft of a great interview with an underdiscovered artist. Do I write a one page summary of the summary and hope for the best?

One page is too long! Keep your pitch emails polite, to the point, and short. I suggest no more than 2 sentences, 3 sentences maximum, for story pitches, and always pitch at least 3 stories at once. I will definitely be covering this in the class.

I absolutely hate writing introductory paragraphs. Any tips on how not to spend 3 hours writing the same sentence over and over again?

Intro paragraphs can also be called “leads,” and there are a few great strategies for creating them. My favorite is to start with a powerful image or narrative, then return to that image over the course of the article.

How much of my opinion and voice should I keep out of an article? How about a blog post that is not my own blog?

On your own blog, you can be as mouthy as you want. The more august the publication, the more you might have to tone down your writing. Here, the difference between criticism and reporting is very important. Reporting means no opinion, but you can still have a voice if you do it right. Criticism means express your opinion loudly.
Any other comments?

Writing about art might seem like too much work to even attempt, but it can actually present a great creative outlet for writers and a source of income (!!) for artists.

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