Studio success at inaugural Industry City Open Studios event

The digits on the little hand-held tally counter read 1,585.

That was the number of people who walked into the Visitor’s Center lobby at Building 2 for Industry City’s inaugural Open Studios event on Saturday, April 26. Collectively, well over 1,600 people participated in the event, say artist organizers, who welcomed visitors into their homes away from home to see works-in-progress and chat about art, inspiration, Brooklyn and more.

“To have people coming into your space, commenting on your work—it builds a relationship between viewer and artist,” said Aleya Lehmann, a fine arts photographer whose studio is in Building 2, located at 220 36th Street. “It’s very personal [space and work], so it’s really special to experience it. People like to look at art, but they don’t usually have the opportunity to speak to the artist.”

Unlike many other open studios events in Brooklyn, the one at Industry City was organized by and featured 75 of the artists who rent space in the buildings along the Sunset Park waterfront. Art on display included paintings, photographer, sculpture, video pieces and more.

Open studio visitors were also treated to outdoor performances, from House of Strength’s (Zoorkhaneh) movement and music piece inspired by traditional Persian gymnasiums, to best-selling author and storyteller Mishka Shubaly’s excerpt from his latest work and Paul Meadow’s original slop folk music.

The day’s festivities featured printed guides to help guests navigate the historic maze of industrial buildings that are fast becoming a hub of creative and manufacturing energy and innovation.

“The geography has changed. [Artist communities] were in the East Village and Soho and now are in Brooklyn, Chelsea and Soho,” noted Lehmann. “Brooklyn has bloomed and we are the newest kid on the block.”

“I [hope] everyone walk[ed] away with the ‘wow’ factor,” added Carol Dronsfield, a commercial and fine arts photographer who used to work in advertising and now creates art full time. “I hope curators saw the talent, that people saw a world that’s not their everyday world, and I hope people walked away wanting to buy paint and create art.”

To browse a list of participating artists and their work, visit

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.