Courtesy Jason Ting
On October 1st, Artspace New Haven – a non-profit organization for emerging contemporary artists – launched its 23rd annual City-Wide Open Studios festival.
The festival is a month-long event that provides artists across Connecticut with a platform to display their work and build connections within the community. This year, due to the pandemic, CWOS is offering both remote and personal engagement opportunities. Via the CWOS portal, viewers can plan studio visits with over 200 artists.
“Our first priority has always been to connect artists with prospects, curators or programmers,” said Lisa Dent, executive director of Artspace New Haven. “That way, I hope that switching to remote control will actually bring some benefits and give them greater options.”
This year’s theme is based on the book “Who Governs?” By political scientist Robert Dahl. According to Artspace’s press release, Dahl’s book serves as a “starting point” for artists to envision public projects on urban management and governance.
In the past, the festival took place on the weekends in October. Each weekend focused on a different New Haven neighborhood with thousands of spectators. However, due to the cost and travel time, it was difficult to hire curators from all over the US.
Now both artists and visitors are adapting to the appreciation of art in a digital environment. With curators no longer having to travel to New Haven, CWOS is now attracting artists who can host meetings through Zoom and Google Hangout.
However, the main objectives of CWOS remain unchanged.
Visitors who prefer personal studio visits can do so, provided they follow the health and safety guidelines. You can use the website portal to book a time slot in advance.
Artspace has hosted the City-Wide Open Studios festival for 22 years, and most artists have continued to attend this year’s festival despite the transition to a virtual format.
New Haven-based digital sketch maker Jason Ting found the festival’s virtual alternative handy.
“It’s still a great opportunity to share my artwork with the local community,” said Ting. “The online format makes it easier and more accessible for artists and viewers to connect with each other.”
Eoin Burke ART ’09 and his wife Tracie Cheng have been part of the festival for years and look forward to its continuation.
“It’s always a wonderful place to bring our community into our work and connect with others who make art in New Haven,” said Burke.
With over 200 artists, the festival features a wide range of art media promoting a variety of artwork. For example, Ting uses coding techniques to create digital animations, while Burke creates his sculptures from epoxy clay – a self-curing clay used by artisans and sculptors. Ting plans to showcase 10 works that capture the visual realm of his explorations.
The festival, an annual tradition that gives participating artists the chance to showcase art that they have worked on over the past year, runs through October 30th. It’s free and open to the public.
Tania Tsunik | [email protected]
Bryan Ventura | [email protected]