Hunter College MFA building
450 West 41st Street
Friday, November 18th, from 6 to 10 PM
Saturday, November 19 from 2 to 6 PM
Over 100 students are set to participate in the Hunter College MFA program’s Open Studios this weekend. The event takes place at Hunter’s Times Square building. During this event, the MFA building will exist somewhere between a public gallery and a series of private studios, providing a casual exhibition space that encourages experimentation.
According to Hunter student and four-time Open Studio participant Kristen Studioso, the informality of the event gives rise to a variety of presentations. Though many students treat it as a mini-show, others view it as an opportunity to venture outside the parameters of their concentrations (painting, sculpture, combined media, photography) and try out different media.
The main draw for Studioso is the exchange of ideas that takes place between visitors and artists. “There are a lot of really interesting conversations that can come out of Open Studios – all sorts of people show up, sometimes people who have quite an investment in the art scene, some people who are just interested, and sometimes people who have very little connection or knowledge of the art scene.”
The exchange of ideas and perspectives is at the forefront of some of the work Studioso plans to show. During a semester spent in Berlin, the artist made videos about how subjective mappings of places allow for alternative readings of space. Collaborating with an architecture student gave rise to work that “takes into account both how I experience the space as an artist, and how they experience space as an architect.” One work created with an architect who grew up in East Berlin centers on the Soviet War Memorial in Berlin’s Treptow Park. “It was insanely interesting to have her ideas and input, as she attended celebrations at the memorial as a child. We shot all of that material together, and have to start Skype-editing so we can finish.”
Studioso will be projecting these large videos on the walls of her studio, as well as using a few hand-held screens for simpler works. She is also thinking of turning one room into a “game lounge,” with video stills on the wall, board games, popcorn, and “comfy seats for when the walking and standing in front of paintings becomes too tiresome.” For her, Open Studios presents an opportunity to mix work and play, to “relax a bit.”
Visitors can expect to get a glimpse into some artists’ processes through exposure to unfinished works and the spaces in which they were made. But for Studioso, this is not the event’s purpose or appeal. She hopes that exposure to her working techniques will “act as a springboard for something more interesting than process itself.”
One potential draw to visitors is the chance to scout out emerging talent. A silent auction will take place on the second floor on Friday from 6 to 9. A number of recent Hunter graduates have made a dent in the New York art scene. Among them are Ahram Jeong and Kristof Wickman, who are currently showing work at Momenta Art and the Brooklyn Museum, respectively. Esther Kläs, another recent graduate, has a solo show opening at Peter Blum in December.
Other New York Art Schools will be holding Open Studios for MFA students this November and December. Brooklyn College Open Studios will take place on November 18th and 19th, NYU Steinhardt on November 20th, Columbia University on November 20th, Pratt on December 9th, and the School of Visual Arts from December 15th to December 17th.
To see more work by Kristen Studioso, click here.