West Chelsea artists open their studios to the public

Seventy-one artists in 12 buildings, primarily in Chelsea, opened studio doors to share their work and engage with an interested public. The artists’ building 226 W. 26th Street, the site of more than 200 artists’ studios, hosted 27 of the participating artists.

West Chelsea Artists’ Scotto Mycklebust has been producing open studio events like this one for 12 years says, “The studio and the West Chelsea Building is a special place, and I want to contribute to the artists’ community and to the other artists who are like myself, an independent artist.”

This In the first open studios of West Chelsea Artists organized by Mycklebust since the pandemic hit—the last one in 2019.

Photographer Stacy Kranitz from Smithville Tennessee is wrapping up a 6-week residency in the West Chelsea building. She uses archival images as well as well as her own photographs.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)

The studios are the work homes of a diverse group—sculptors, photographers, painters, and artists who work with words, collage, multi-media, drawing, as well as one robot artist. Long-time New Yorkers and recent arrivals, exiles from New Jersey as well as transnationals work in cozy subdivided spaces to double studios, home studios, and one works in a fortified former elevator shaft.

Of the event, Mycklebust says, “It a chance to meet with artists in conversation, view their works and (and support them with the purchase of works). It gives artists a way to connect with their public, build notoriety, a public persona, their art practice, their art business and clients. This is essential in marketing your art as an artist in the contemporary world of art.” Postering and word-of-mouth got the word out. Galleries and The Elizabeth Foundation of the Arts also participated.

Organizer Mycklebust also shared his studio with the public. His art studio practice began in the Minneapolis Downtown Art Warehouse district in 1980. “I moved my studio to New York’s SOHO gallery district in 1988, for sixteen years, then to Tribeca and finally to West Chelsea gallery district for the past fourteen years in the West Chelsea Building.

A large studio for a tall man. The work on the right wall is 13′ x 9′ and references Caravaggio’s “Bacchus”,
Velazquez’s “Pope Innocent X”,
Guido Reni’s “Bacchus”
and “Bacchus and Ariadne”, and
Audubon’s “Jaguar”.
(Photo by Tequila Minsky)