Just outside Artspace, the City Wide Open Studios (CWOS) arts hub on Orange Street, a group of artists cast their collective gaze to an upper window of a building on Crown Street.
From her vantage above, photographer Judy Rosenthal prepared to take a “Total Jump Group Portrait” of artists who will be exhibiting their art over four October weekends, during the 19th iteration of City Wide Open Studios.
A bright pink banner held by a row of cheering artists spelled out the words GAME ON! — this year’s CWOS theme that explores the role of games and sports in contemporary art and culture, inspiring many game-themed installations and commissioned events that will provide interactive opportunities, including a city wide scavenger-hunt style game called Find it-Friend It! during Private Studio Weekend, Oct. 22 and 23.
Commissioned by Artspace and created by Site Projects, the game will offer numerous prizes, including cash, as it encourages public visits to open studios, providing an opportunity for teams of players to collect points and post their successful ventures on a Facebook Event page.
Behind the wall of artists that had gathered streetside, tables and tents were packed with diners, part of Noodles On9, sponsored by the Town Green District and featuring the growing number of restaurants featuring popular noodle cuisine, including Duc’s Place, Pho & Spice, 116 Crown, C’viche 181, K2 New Haven, Kumo Sushi, Hibachi Lounge, and Royal Palace. Wine was offered by Fornarelli’s Restaurant with Trinity Bar providing a selection of beer.
An obstacle course of planks and platforms laid out in the temporary plaza outside Artspace proved irresistible to the young…
…. and the young at heart.
Inside the Artspace gallery, hundreds of works of art were listed for sale as an elbow-to-elbow crowd worked its way through the gallery; the challenge of movement grew as the evening progressed.
Two and three dimensional pieces on display were emblematic of the creative work of individual artists and the reservoir of works that will be available for viewing in artists’ studios and exhibit spaces during CWOS weekends. Hundreds of these works will continue to be available for sale at Artspace through November 10th.
Artspace Executive Director Helen Kauder stood atop a desk to welcome gallery visitors and thank the many staff and volunteers who have participated in the monumental undertaking that is CWOS.
Sarah Fritchey, Artspace curator and gallery director, moderated an artist’s talk-back in an enveloping, full-room installation by multimedia artist and 2015-2016 Artspace artist in residence Eben Kling.
The Artspace mission of “catalyzing artistic activities” and “connecting contemporary artists, audiences, and resources” was on full display Friday evening. With the first weekend of City Wide Open Studios Westville, now complete, art lovers can look forward to more art at Armory Weekend, Oct. 15 and 16, in the Goffe Street Armory; Private Studio Weekend, on Oct. 22 and 23, and Erector Square Weekend, on Oct. 29 and 30 at 315 Peck Street. Wear comfortable shoes.