The Brooklyn College Art Department hosted the expansive and all encompassing Art All Day on Saturday, November 9th. The event, which played out as a festival of sorts, included open studios on the fourth, fifth, and sixth floors of Boylan, as well as performances and multiple exhibitions across campus.
In keeping with its title, the event was open from 12-8pm on the brisk fall day. Family members, friends, alumni, and professors gathered in the studios to see the lively studio spaces of our BFA and MFA students. Many of the artists stayed put for the duration of the event, inviting onlookers and those wandering the halls to come in, chat, and enjoy the work. And in keeping with the general inviting and homey air of the department, small tables with assortments of cheese, crackers, and fruit, were graciously provided by students and staff.
On the fourth floor of Boylan Hall, MFA student Paul Carney’s studio showcases many artforms more than just painting.
“Many of my pieces are done in a reductive painting style, where much of the paint is sanded down or thinned out,” says Carney.
For his recent work, the artist paints on a glass palette which is live-streamed on a monitor which he paints from. As he paints, he records himself on a VCR recorder. This process is included in a video piece, projected in his spacious studio, where the footage of the actual paint done on the palette is manipulated and superimposed onto the artists face and body as he paints.
In the studio of Ak Jansen, loosely stitched flowers on small squares of fabrics are draped from the walls surrounding an old sewing machine. On the other side of the studio, amorphous red clay sculptures sit on a long table. These clay “vessels,” as Jansen calls them, are part of a larger project which means to explore queer bodies, community and care. Jansen, an MFA student originally from the Netherlands, studied textile design in undergrad, and wishes to explore these concepts using fabric, while expanding it to sculpture.
“The queer club scene and nightlife is a place of care and community for so many of us. For a long time I was exploring these ideas with my own body, but I’ve moved on to these vessels,” says the artist.
In a typically cramped BFA studio (many of them host up to three students), artist Robert Beauvais creates sculptures and paintings based on Haitian imagery. These works feature strikingly saturated colors and carefully rendered male forms. On a small table in Beauvais’ studio sits a self-drying clay sculpture of a salve with broken shackles at his ankles, blowing triumphantly into a conch shell. This image is borrowed directly from Haitian imagery, called Le Marron Inconnu or the Unknown Slave, and is mirrored in a painting, which hangs on the wall perpendicular to the sculpture table.
Art All Day offered visitors a look into the wonderful polyphony of artmaking that Brooklyn College has to offer. While it is a bit disconcerting to see the tightly packed spaces that some of the BFA students work in, these young artists still bring wonderful and engaging work to the table. Hopefully next semester’s event is just as engrossing, and just as well conducted. If you missed out on this event, keep your eyes peeled for other open studio, performances, and events from the Art Department here on campus.