Yale artists to showcase their work in City-Wide Open Studios

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A detail from "Down By the River Grow the Bitter Herbs," an oil and mixed media work by Yale staff member and CWOS participant Valerie Richardson.

Yale faculty and students are among the hundreds of artists who will show their work in this year’s City-Wide Open Studios (CWOS), which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year.

Nearly 300 artists will participate in the art festival, which takes place over the course of three consecutive weekends, Oct. 5-22. Each weekend features different workspaces in New Haven. In all, more than 60 sites — including artists’ home studios — will be open. Among the artists affiliated with Yale who are taking part are Heidi Coutu, a resident fellow of Timothy Dwight College; Chris Engstrom, a museum technician at the Yale University Art Gallery; Anoka Faruqee, associate professor at the Yale School of Art; Clint Jukkala, associate professor at the Yale School of Art; Christopher Mir, a museum technician at the Yale University Art Gallery (a short profile on Mir is featured on the CWOS website); Christina Spiesel, a senior research scholar at Yale Law School; Chika Ota, a Rollins Fellow in the Office of the University Printer; Valerie Richardson, a stewardship manager at the Yale University Art Gallery; Jonathan Weinberg, a critic at the Yale School of Art; and Kerri Sancomb, a conservator at Sterling Memorial Library.

An opening reception, which features one work from all of the participating artists, will take place 5-8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5, at Artspace, 50 Orange St. Artspace has hosted CWOS since its inception.

To mark its 15th year, Artspace has invited artists to draw inspiration for their art from the crystal, whether in chemical, mathematical, geological, or polished form. Special themed tours and exhibitions will take place in connection with this theme. In collaboration with Project Storefronts, the public is invited to the opening night Crystal Ball, which — in addition to other late-night festivities — will take place throughout Ninth Square following the opening reception at Artspace.

Yale’s Digital Media Center for the Arts is co-sponsoring Artspace’s Crystal Palace Experimental Film Festival, which will feature continual screenings — projected after dark outside the Crown Street window of Artspace — of 21 films and videos from Oct 5 to Oct. 22. The featured works, all having some connection with crystals, are by artists from around the world. Artspace’s projection area (dubbed “The Crystal Palace”) takes as its model the Crystal Palace plate-glass building that was constructed by Joseph Paxton for the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London.

A special screening of the works will take place at Artspace at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, and will be accompanied by a discussion with the film festival’s curator, Yale alumna Liena Vayzman ’94 M.A., ’02 Ph.D., and participating artist Bobby Abate, an alumnus of New Haven’s Educational Center for the Arts.

Other CWOS events are as follows:

Oct. 6-7 weekend: Visitors are invited to individual studios and small group spaces scattered throughout downtown and residential neighborhoods. There will also be a special gathering of artists making functional objects — furniture and crafts — at 14 Gilbert St. in New Haven. A free, guided bike tours departs both Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. from the Devil’s Gear bike shop, 360 State St. (enter on Orange Street). Walking tours will also be offered.

Oct. 13-14 weekend: This weekend will feature artists in studios at Erector Square, 315 Peck St., New Haven. Erector Square, once housing the factory that made Erector sets, is today the city’s largest concentration of studios, with 100 artists. Studio maps will be available at the entrance, along with a schedule of artist demonstrations. The event is free; a $5 donation is suggested. Studios will be open noon-5 p.m.

Oct. 20-21 weekend: Artists (numbering in the hundreds) who don’t have private studio spaces will show their work at the Alternative Space, which this year is the vacant New Haven Register building, 40 Sargent Dr., off of I-95. Admission is free; a $5 donation is suggested. The Altternative Space will be open noon-5 p.m.

For more information on CWOS, visit the festival’s website.

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