This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001



Photographer Jennifer Kotter will open up her studio to visitors as part of annual ToastArtWalk in TriBeCa

Multiple locations throughout TriBeCa
Friday, April 29, 6:00-9:00
Saturday, April 30, 1:00-6:00
Sunday, May 1, 1:00-6:00
Monday, May 2, 1:00-6:00
Admission: free

The fifteenth annual TriBeCa Open Artist Studio Tour begins tonight, with nearly a hundred TriBeCa artists opening up their studios in three dozen buildings. The neighborhood is sure to be packed on Saturday, as the Tribeca Film Festival holds its Family Festival Street Fair and Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day, so as long as you’re there, be sure to add in a few studio visits as well. The official TOAST website lists detailed information about each participating artist, including samples of their work; we’re looking forward to checking out Jennifer Kotter’s architectural photographs at 105 Hudson St., Katherine D. Crone’s visual journal installations at 515 Greenwich, Mark Demos’s light paintings at 368 Broadway (which were a highlight of the recent Fountain Art Fair), Deborah Gieringer’s mystery-laden drawings at 108 Franklin St., Loretta Mae Hirsch’s feminist drawings and paintings at 368 Broadway, Theresa Greenberg’s colorful accordion collages at 50 White St., Jonathan Lux’s cinematic narrative paintings at 368 Broadway, and Toshiko Nishikawa’s paintings and installations at 122 Duane St. (her recent “Senbazuru” show at the Vilcek Foundation was a big hit).

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  1. The Tribeca Open Artist Studio Tour is one of my favorite public events in New York. This year I took a leisurely walk through studios I had not been to before going to those I know.

    I sometimes find the studios and work/living spaces as special as the art itself.

    There are a number of old buildings on Broadway off of White Street (368, 373) that reveal the discipline it takes to produce art. These are tiny windowless square work spaces where the inner vision and drive of the artist more than the environment produces something special. The proximity of the studios one after another on the floor of these former factory buildings gives stark contrast from one artist to another.

    Other work spaces are bigger and in basements, also windowless, but more voluminous. Then there are these lovely, huge lofts where some people have been for 40 years! And lastly there are the lovely apartments along Hudson where people live and work.

    Some artists and places stand out year after year. The 50 White Street Studio has seven artists and now also some fashion designers. Theresa Greenberg each year has a different rendition of rich colorful work that entails paper cutting and collage. Regina Silver has started to do some figurative work around the Granny Peace Movement, that complements nicely the wonderful colors of her more abstract work.

    For the second year in a row, Michiyo Fukushima’s work knocks me over. Last year I was struck by the sheer loveliness of the watercolors based on photographs of New York architectural details. This year she set up a time for people to observe her paint and to talk to her about her ideas and her painting process. She explained how she develops the contrast between the central human figure and the stone context around it.

    When you see the postcards of her watercolors, your first response is, “I thought it was a photograph”. When you see the work itself you realize that she takes the classic Greek and Roman figures that are the basis of these architectural details and puts a human and soft touch to the face next to the surrounding stone. I can’t express how you get a sense of the human and spiritual beauty and spirit of the figure that in “real life” is also stone, but in her paintings are rendered as a tender and powerful beauty.

    Joan Greenberg’s work is appropriately called “reChinafication”. She breaks fine china plates then puts them as the basis for sink tops, bathroom walls and wonderful tabletop ornamentation. Her work is integrated into her home. She showed me her studio with pile of lovely china and the tools and adhesives she uses to produce her work.

    Donna Rosenthal’s paper dresses are well executed and have both grace and a sense of playfulness to their design.

    Tim Trompeter does stunning digital alterations of scenes he photographs off the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, Canada. He has put together a very interesting books called Lobster…. and speaks eloquently about his work.

    Jennifer Kotter’s photographs are stark presentations of the light and shadows of New York architectural details.

    Claire Ferguesson does a range of collages and watercolors with impact and sensitivity.

    Ok Soon Yoon, recently arrived from Korea after a career as a director of an art museum and a professor of studio art. Her work evokes root human feelings from a sweeping line and judicious use of color.

    New to TOAST Jessica Raimi takes intimate, photographs of friends and neighbors. Very personal, very warm

    This event keeps New York special. I’ve been writing about the variety of work and media. What is fun about this event is seeing the artists in their studios and talking to them and the other visitors. It’s a particularly friendly and open event, special in that way in New York. I can’t urge you enough to see it. TOAST runs until Monday, May 2.

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