Last weekend (as you probably know if you are reading this) we had our annual Spring Open Studios at the Distillery Building in South Boston. It was a pretty successful afternoon despite some crazy weather and I think there were around 400 people who showed up to tour the building and check out all the artists that live and work here.
Open Studios day is always stressful despite being a lot of fun. I never realized it when I was poking through other buildings during open studios as a visitor but, from an artist’s perspective (at least from THIS artists perspective), it is a very exhausting experience to put your work and your life out there for direct public consumption. People are never afraid to tell you what they REALLY think of your work and, while it’s always great to get feedback (good or bad), an entire day of hosting a non-stop critique really wears you out! Of course it is always worth it and I enjoy the chance to meet new people and talk about art.
Like any good host, Studio 11 spent all day Saturday cleaning and setting up (even if it didn’t show!). In a stroke of pure genius, Tony from Chromalab broke out some lawn furniture and set up a comfy little spot (in front of Bobs two large drawings) for him and I to sit, relax and greet people as they came through. We invited Alycia and Valerie to join our studio for the weekend so that they would have a spot to setup and show off their paintings and they thanked us by, as usual, being better prepared, better looking, and selling twice as much as everyone else combined. Jarrett even whipped up a few batches of tasty bloody maries to give out to anyone who was interested.
During a break in the action I managed to sneak away and check out a few other studios to see what they had to offer. Walked over to Dyslexic Press and checked out some of their new prints, really cool stuff. Then went up to see Kenji but, he was surrounded by people, discussing one of his ridiculously intricate stencil paintings so, I moved on. Popped into Scott Chasse’s studio where he had the best snacks imaginable; nilla wafers and fresh strawberries, and of course his bold Burt-centric paintings. Checked out my friends from Rope-A-Dope Press who put on an awesome show. Interesting hand made books, live music, poetry readings and tasty home brewed beer. Finally, I stopped into see James Weinberg and checked out some really great screen prints of his. He had some new prints that had a super clean image printed over layers and layers of test prints, made for an awesome effect… Really wanted to go back and use some of the profits from my own sales to buy one of them but, instead I got ravenously hungry and blew my cash on a big plate of fajitas and marguritas. Obviously I forgot to take any pictures so, check out these photos I stole from the Distillery Gallery Flickr feed.
Like I said, all in all a really fun day. Met a lot of interesting people and got some great feedback on my new paintings. Sadly, excluding one Mass Art student who wanted to make sure I knew there were still people studying traditional painting techniques in this city, nobody called me out on my ridiculous statements so, I will continue to declare Studio 11 the figurative art capital of Boston (this isn’t true, my Mom made sure to remind me not to forget HER favorite figurative artist in Boston, Vanessa Irzyk). Hopefully everyone who came enjoyed themselves and those who missed out, maybe you will be able to visit in October during our next open studios weekend. If we met and/or you liked my paintings, make sure to drop me an email or, post a comment, find me on Facebook/Twitter and keep in touch.