Brooklyn, NY, October 10, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- On Saturday and Sunday October 18-19, 2008, the artists of Gowanus, Brooklyn, will open their studios free to the public from 1-6 PM. Bounded by Fifth Avenue, 10th Street, Smith Street, and Baltic Street, Gowanus lies between Park Slope and Carroll Gardens. This self-guided walking tour features over 150 artists in 28 different locations.
What Better Place? Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal has a long and colorful history. Originally a tidal wetland famous for its oysters, the canal grew into the brick and steel heart of industrial New York. After a century of manufacturing, toxic waste had penetrated deep into the ground and the Gowanus Canal was once again famous as a place apocryphally polluted, desolate, perhaps even where underworld figures dispatched their enemies beneath the murky water. What better place to make art? By the 1980s there were disused old factory buildings with space to work, plenty of light, solitude and a sense of industriousness in the old brick and steel. An artists’ community was born.
Gowanus Now. Today a huge variety of creative enterprise percolates behind the industrial façades of Gowanus. There are painters and sculptors, designers, artists working in installation, fiber, film, video and photography, ceramists and glass artists. None of this is visible from the quiet streets, so each year the artists organize the Annual Gowanus Artists Studio Tour to open their enterprise to the public. On the weekend of the Tour, all of the participating studio buildings are open to the public free of charge, and the artists are present in their studios to meet visitors and speak with them about their work. For visitors the Tour provides a unique opportunity to learn about art making directly from those who make it. Nothing in the gallery or museum world matches this intimate meeting with artists in their private studios.
Visiting The Tour. The website www.AGASTBrooklyn.com provides complete visitor information and features a virtual gallery with images of each artist’s work. A.G.A.S.T. welcomes visitors of all ages, and Gowanus is easily accessible by public transportation. A.G.A.S.T. provides visitors with a color-coded map of the neighborhood. Participating artists are listed individually, and all studio locations and nearby subway stops are pinpointed on the map. Maps are available at every participating studio location, and can also be downloaded from the website.
The Annual Gowanus Artists Studio Tour is a New York State nonprofit and 501(c)(3) organization.