City-Wide Open Studios Expands

Melissa Bailey PhotoThe city’s annual arts extravaganza will hire local tour guides and expand to a second wing of the Goffe Street Armory, thanks to a $50,000 boost from the federal government.

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Helen Kauder, executive director of Artspace, announced that news at a press conference Friday.

Artspace was one of 66 organizations in 38 states to win Our Town grants this year from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The two-year, $50,000 grant will go towards expanding City-Wide Open Studios, the annual event in which hundreds of local artists open their studios as well as set up temporary exhibitions in a communal alternative space.

Kauder said Artspace will hire local tour guides to study local artists’ work. The guides will offer $10 tours through three or four studios of their choosing. Artspace will expand the event to occupy another second wing of the Goffe Street Armory, which will again serve as the alternate space, Kauder said. And it will set up nighttime projections of video or light displays onto buildings, including on the Armory itself, she said.

City-Wide Open Studios takes place from Oct. 2 to 26 this year. The theme is “Transported and Illuminated.”

Artspace also won a $30,000 NEA grant earlier this year to launch a collaboration with the Yale University Art Gallery on a project called CT Unbound, involving simultaneous exhibitions related to the Allan Chasanoff collection of book sculptures, which were donated to Yale.

In a visit to Artspace’s office and gallery space at the corner of Crown and Orange streets, DeLauro commended Artspace for increasing everyday people’s access to art.

“Arts used to be the purview of the rich,” DeLauro said. “What we have seen over the last few years is that this is for everybody.”

As a case in point, she stopped into Artspace’s latest project, a mobile museum that is collecting artifacts from New Haveners around town.

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posted by: BillSaunders1 on July 20, 2014  4:03pm

Since significant funding was acquired to expand City Wide Open Studios, doesn’t ‘paying’ for select tours somehow go against the spirit of this ‘open’ event???