Open studios, open minds – The Spectrum

From basement to ceiling, the CFA is full of art.

Spirited visitors are greeted by a wonderland of uninhibited creativity – from live jazz music to gruesome ghost photography to student-produced films about meteorologists.

Projects develop, dances are repeated, it is a resolutely unfinished vision of the art in progress.

Tayron Lopez in his studio, where his stream of consciousness lives like scribbles.

This look at UB’s evolving craft world is the result of Art in the Open, a free event that took place on October 28 that opens studios, classrooms and stages to the public. The event, which first took place in 2019, aims to showcase the current – and often incomplete – work of artists in mediums ranging from chain mail sculpture to choral singing.

Visiting a space that blurs the lines between exquisite exhibitions and the process of authentic artistic creation, visitors and artists alike have discovered that Art in the Open promotes a more personal engagement with art than is typically permitted in frames. formal, such as museums.

Jonathan Golove, director of Open! Strings Ensemble and president of the music department, says performing in the middle of a crowd, without the usual stage, has helped create a more suitable environment for enjoying the music.

“It goes back to what for many of us is the perfect condition for playing music, which is in your living room with a few people listening,” Golove said. Spectrum. “It still has that, instead of the formality of a concert hall. It has that intimate quality, among friends, and it’s kind of ideal for music.

Golove is not the only one who thinks that open-air art creates an optimal space for engaging in art.

Nicole Chochrek, a fine arts graduate student, says the event was an opportunity to introduce the public to her studio and her creative process, something that is generally more private.

“It’s always really wonderful to be able to share and get feedback,” Chochrek said. “Just to see how people connect at work [was really cool] because most of the time we do it behind closed doors.

Artists may have benefited from the open dialogue, but visitors also found that being able to step into an artist’s workspace increased their experience with the work at hand.

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“It’s really cool because you don’t just see the work displayed on the walls, as it should be, but you see it in its creative field, which is really interesting,” said Cassandra Cristimilios, art student. junior. noted. “And this is something that is unlike any other experience.”

As visitors engaged with art in its place of creation, some artists felt that the informality and intimacy of the experience made their work more accessible to the general public.

“It demystifies what art is,” said Joan Nobile, assistant media study teacher and MFA candidate. “I think it helps people think, ‘You know, art is kind of a mysterious thing, but I can’t figure it out,’ to ‘Oh, that’s actually pretty cool.'”

By deconstructing the mystery behind the art, Art in the Open has also given visitors and artists the opportunity to experience the behind-the-scenes technological work that goes into the performing arts.

“Usually I’m just on stage and dancing and focusing on that,” said Kelsey Wegman, an Emerging Choreographers Showcase director’s assistant student and dance major. “I don’t really look at how it all comes together, so I think it’s cool that aliens can also do the same and see like, ‘Oh wow, that’s how the lights come up!’ ”

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Robert George experiments with spiritual photography in his studio.

As the barriers between audience and performance dissipated, artists also expressed that Outdoor Art helps bring together the different disciplines present in CFA.

Although unable to explore the event beyond the Mainstage Theater, where ECS held its dance rehearsal, Wegman still felt the presence of the arts come together as the music from the atrium flowed into the auditorium.

“We would hear applause and we would make jokes, hearing different things going on,” Wegman said. “Like, if that’s a serious part of the dance and all of a sudden there’s this loud song in the background.”

Bringing together all types of artists, some participants felt that Art in the Open was the ideal art exhibition.

“[Art in the Open] is sort of the maximum point where something is really happening everywhere, ”Golove said. “It’s full of that. It wouldn’t be like this every day, but it’s kind of a model.

For many, Art in the Open represented the first opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes look at the art world in person since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

By organizing such a large and public event, some expressed feelings of anxiety.

“It was difficult not only for me, but for everyone,” said Nobile. “You go from that very scary feeling of ‘I don’t want to be around people’, to all of a sudden opening up the entire atrium not only to everyone here, but to the public as well.”

Despite this apprehension of returning to normal, many event attendees expressed a pervasive sense of appreciation for experiencing art in person again.

For some artists who have opened their workshops to the public, this face-to-face return has enabled them to rethink their perception of their own art based on feedback and comments from visitors.

“Being able to have conversations like this creates a kind of normalcy,” said Tayron Lopez, a fine arts graduate student. “It allows me to get away from myself. It brings fulfillment and affirmation to [my art]. “

For others, the simple premise of having in-person visitors again encouraged them to see their studio less as a place of work than a place of creation.

“It’s weird, to do [my studio] feeling like a home worth showing off, it becomes something I really want to spend time in, ”said Robert George, a fine arts graduate student, of his studio layout .

As artists sailed back to public events, some said art in the open reminded them that art is always best experienced in person.

“You can see the passion and the hard work or when someone is dancing you see their whole body and that fluid and wonderful movement,” Nobile said. “Or when you look at a painting and can pay attention to the textures and strokes used and the emotion felt in the painting. You get all this wonderful plethora of expression, creativity, emotion and thought and it’s so fantastic to see. I think Art in the Open is a wonderful place for that and it’s as good for the audience as it is for the artists themselves.

Kara Anderson is the assistant. arts editor and can be contacted at [email protected]

Paolo Blanchi is the Creative Director and can be contacted at [email protected] and on Twitter at @ paulblanchi21

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Corina C. Butler

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