Red Hook Expands Art Scene With Open Studios

Historic Red Hook, Brooklyn celebrated its third annual Red Hook Open Studios Nov. 11 and 12 from 1-6 pm as over 80 artists displayed their works and around the surrounding area. Art lovers, collectors, and observers had the opportunity to venture through artists’ intimate studio settings to view and purchase unique pieces from the makers.

Katie Lincoln, a jeweler, and Deborah Ugoretz, who works in paper cutting, cultivated Red Hook Open Studios in 2015, when the two felt that the Red Hook art scene needed to be represented.

“[Art is] a way of communicating visually. Exploring media like paint, paper, material. It’s a way of exploring and making things that are concepts real, tangible,” Ugoretz said.

“We were like, ‘Why is there not an open studios down here in Red Hook with the talent that is going on down here?’ So we just made it happen,” Lincoln said.

Other Red Hook Open Studios coordinators include Megan Suttles, owner of Hot Woods Arts, Ethan Cornell, a painter and graphic designer, and Hilary Lorenz, a printmaking artist.

The growth and success of Red Hook Open Studios over the past three years is apparent. While the open studios has always received tremendous support, this year proved to be the most substantial. This was the first year that the open studios ran for a full weekend, oppose to one day.

“We didn’t think we wanted to take the time to do two days. It was the first years for us, it was an experiment. This year, though, we figured why not do two days?” Ugoretz said.

This was also the first year that a physical map of the open studios was necessary. With 35 locations and over 80 participants, the map gave shoppers the opportunity to designate where they wanted to go. Since many of the studios contained multiple artists within their studios, this allowed those in the area the opportunity to see multiple artists at each station.

“They love it,” Ugoretz said. They’re curious to know what’s going on in these buildings, they’re curious about the art and the art world. They want to learn about art and how it’s made.”

Red Hook Open Studios generates most of its money from donations, which is why its continual growth is so impactful. The coordinators work on a volunteer basis, and the artists’ submission fee goes directly to publicity and press.

“We started with about 50 artists the first year and now we’re at around 90. I think more people are getting involved, but also, more artists are down here,” Lincoln said. “It’s really great.”

Red Hook Open Studios is unlike many art shows in that it brings in a multitude of different art mediums. While there is your “usual art,” there’s also various kinds of interactive and engaging artistic components.

“It’s a little bit like a treasure hunt with all the nooks and crannies,” Cornell said. “It’s Red Hook artists, and its various kinds of artmakers and craftsman. Welders, glass demonstration, a lot of great stuff.”

Attendees also had the chance to run into some of the artists at Pioneer Works on 159 Pioneer St. following Sunday’s open studio from 4-9 p.m., which coincidentally (and pleasantly) overlapped with Second Sundays, another art installation held at Pioneer Works every second Sunday of the month.

Samuel Smith, a Brooklyn resident who visited both Red Hook Open Studios and Pioneer Works on Sunday, said he enjoyed learning and seeing the range of art mediums within one area of Brooklyn.

“I’d like to see every community do something like this to bring awareness to the arts,” Smith said. “I’d come back again next year, and bring my friends.”

Red Hook Open Studios would like to give a big thank you to Red Hook Star-Revue, Fairway Market, New York Ferry, The O’Connell Organization, and Pioneer Works for the support and donations.

Missed out this year? To keep up-to-date with Red Hook Open Studios, visit facebook.com/redhookopenstudios or instagram.com/redhookopenstudios.



Carly Quellman