The annual month-long arts festival known as City-Wide Open Studios (CWOS) will kick off with an opening reception on Oct. 4, and the work of dozens of Yale-affiliated artists will be on view.
Yale is a major sponsor of CWOS, Connecticutâ€™s leading visual arts festival, and part of this yearâ€™s event will take place on the universityâ€™s West Campus for the third year in a row. CWOS â€” now in its 23rd year â€” is hosted by Artspace, a nonprofit organization that champions emerging artists and builds new audiences for contemporary art.
The Yale artists are among some 400 artists working in a wide variety of media who come together across various New Haven sites to show their work during several weekends in October and November. Every year, thousands of visitors travel to New Haven to see the exhibited works â€” along with special demonstrations, installations, and more. Some of the artists welcome guests into their home studios or their spaces in art complexes like Erector Square in Fair Haven. Hundreds of artists who do not have private studios share their work with visitors in the Alternative Space, an unoccupied building on Yaleâ€™s West Campus.
This yearâ€™s festival explores the theme â€œOlder, But Youngerâ€� and will feature 13 commissioned projects â€œthat mobilize intergenerational collaborations between artists who seek to explore a range of topics related to the questions of longetivity, renewal, where memory resides, and how it might be passed from one person to the next,â€� say festival organizers. Many of the commissioned artists are connecting for the first time through their projects, which â€œtogether offer strategies for celebrating life and extending our health-span, pollinating ideas across intergenerational divides, and strengthening our ties to the planet, passed ancestors, future progeny, and the unknown,â€� they add.
The opening reception will take place on Friday, Oct. 4, 6-9 p.m. at Artspace, 50 Orange St. One work by every artist will be on view in the gallery, and many of the artists will be on hand to talk about their work. These artworks will remain on view in the Artspace gallery throughout the festival. An official map and guide to CWOS will be available.
Opening night festivities will also include a tap dance performance called â€œGenerations of Rhythmâ€� â€” one of the specially commissioned â€œOlder But Youngerâ€� projects â€” which brings together three generations of artists, 6:15-7 p.m. on the corner of Orange and Crown streets. The performance is choreographed by Alexis Robbins.
Guests can also attend New Haven Night Market, an assembly of booths featuring local makers and food fenders, 6-11 p.m. on Orange Street between Center and George streets. Other events and exhibits will also be taking place in the Ninth Square neighborhood outside of Artspace.
Oct. 12 and 13 will feature artists in their private studios throughout New Haven, West Haven, North Haven, and Hamden. Artspace will offer guided bike tours to many of the studio locations (meet at noon at 50 Orange St.).
In addition, the weekend will feature artists who have studios in the Westville section of New Haven, a bustling community of artists working in media ranging from painting to graphic design to earthenware to puppetry, and more.
Studios are open noon-6 p.m. both days. Special events include a literary happy hour, a block party, a dance performance, and a DÃa de los Muertos Workshop, during which participants can help Guatemalan artist Pedro Lopez make kites, puppets, masks, floats and more for this yearâ€™s DÃa de los Muertos festival in New Haven. The workshop is one of the projects commissioned as part of â€œOlder But Younger.â€� Kites, masks, and floats â€” along with photographs of the parade â€” will later be exhibited at Artspace Nov. 14-24.
Artists with studios in Erector Square â€” a historic complex at 315 Peck St. in Fair Haven that once housed an Erector Set factory â€” will invite guests into their spaces from noon-6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 19 and 20.
The Alternative Space Weekend, Nov. 2 and 3, sets New Havenâ€™s CWOS apart from other open studio weekends in the region by offering artists from across Connecticut, as well as those interested in creating site-specific works, a unique backdrop to showcase their talents.
Yaleâ€™s West Campus will host a record-breaking 230-plus artists, as well as school art departments and art collectives. The artists will be in Building 410, 100 West Campus Dr. in Orange, noon-6 p.m.
In addition, the other commissioned â€œOlder But Youngerâ€� projects will be featured. These are:
Another commissioned project for â€œOlder But Youngerâ€� is â€œLand Acknowledgement (Working Title),â€� a collaboration led by Artspace artist-in-residence Erin Lee Antonak to develop a â€œland acknowledgmentâ€� to commemorate the indigenous Quinnipiac people who lived on the land now occupied by Artspace. The land acknowledgement will permanently adorn the front doors of Artspace.
In addition, there will be an â€œâ€˜Older But Youngerâ€™ Pecha Kucha,â€� an evening of 12 short shows presented by a group of local speakers who will address this yearâ€™s theme. This will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 6-9 p.m. at Long Wharf Stage 11, 222 Sargent Dr., New Haven.
Full details of events and offerings can be found on the CWOS website, which also features a directory of participating artists.