Just Do Art, Week of May 8, 2014 | East Villager & Lower East Sider

Just Do Art, Week of May 8, 2014

Bob Leonard’s “Woodstock 1” is on display, and up for grabs, at Soho Photo Gallery’s Affordable Photography Fair (May 9-12).  Photo by Bob Leonard
Bob Leonard’s “Woodstock 1” is on display, and up for grabs, at Soho Photo Gallery’s Affordable Photography Fair (May 9-12). Photo by Bob Leonard

THE AFFORDABLE PHOTOGRAPHY FAIR
Established in 1971 by a group of newspaper photographers, the collaborative spirit is still going strong at Soho Photo — where the artists who run this fine art photography gallery participate in workshops and discussion groups, while challenging each other to develop a clear vision. “Visit us. Talk with us,” they say, noting, “We’re always looking for talent and support.” You can walk away with a piece of that talent, when Soho Photo Gallery presents its first-ever Affordable Photography Fair. Dozens of fine art photographs from gallery artists will be on display, with all prints priced at $100. “It’s a great way to start building a collection,” says Gallery member and Fair coordinator, Bob Leonard. The event runs in conjunction with TOAST (TriBeCa Open Artist Studio Tour), a self-guided tour of neighborhood workspaces.

May 9-12. From 1-8pm on Fri., then 1-6pm on Sat., Sun. & Mon. Opening reception: 6-8pm, May 9. At Soho Photo Gallery (15 White St., btw. W. Broadway & Sixth Ave.). For more info, visit sohophoto.com or call 212-226-8571. For TOAST info, visit toastartwalk.com.

“RETROGARDE” EXHIBIT
Once a month for the past 25 years, a group of professional artists have been meeting in each other’s studios to share ideas, discuss methods and find new ways to expand the mission of Retrogarde: “using the idea of the past (retro) to go forward (as in avant garde).” The participating artists in this current exhibit are Barbara Bachner, Hallie Cohen, Tony DeBlasi, Millie Falcaro, Lindsay, Hilda O’Connell, Jean Promutico, Beth Shipley and John Whittaker.

Free. Through May 18, at Westbeth Gallery (55 Bethune St., at Washington St.). Hours: Wed.-Sun., 1-6pm. For info, visit westbeth.org or call 212-989-4650.

Hallie Cohen’s “hy·drog·ra·phy II” (2013; 11x14; Ink on YUPO paper) is part of the “Retrogarde” exhibit, on display through May 18 at Westbeth Gallery.  Image courtesy of the artist
Hallie Cohen’s “hy·drog·ra·phy II” (2013; 11×14; Ink on YUPO paper) is part of the “Retrogarde” exhibit, on display through May 18 at Westbeth Gallery. Image courtesy of the artist

WEST CHELSEA ARTISTS OPEN STUDIO 
Blue skies, warm air, windows open, veil lifted: If this is the second weekend in May and you’re strolling West Chelsea with a map in hand, chances are you’re not lost — just deciding which of the seven buildings are next on your self-guided tour of over 30 private artists’ studios.

This year’s edition of the annual West Chelsea Artists Open Studio event continues its tradition of welcoming the public into creative spaces generally accessible by appointment only. There, you’ll meet the artists and learn about their chosen mediums and unique creative processes. If you like what you see, make a purchase directly from studio inventory.

In partnership with the concurrent Vulture Festival and the Contemporary Art Fair NYC, several Open Studio artists are giving tour participants the chance to immerse themselves in the creative process. At the studio of Scotto Mycklebust, create a print on a small studio press and then take it home. Veronique San Leandro will provide several collective canvases, paint and other materials for visitors to use freely. The finished works will be posted on veroniquesanleandro.com. Ejay Weiss demonstrates how runnels of paint produce unique effects — then lets you try that technique. It’s your pick of markers or crayons, when you add color to a large black and white print of Adrienne Leban’s BioGeo drawings. She’ll also lead a paper sculpture-making exercise.

Free. Sat. & Sun., May 10-11, from 12-6pm. Start your self-guided tour by picking up a tour map and artist info, in the lobbies of the West Chelsea Arts building (508 & 516 W. 26th St.) and Westbeth Artists Housing (55 Bethune St.), or at DaVinci Artist Supply (132 W. 21st St.). For more info, visit westchelseaartists.com. Also visit vulturefestival.com and contemporaryartfairnyc.com.

Paint what you please, in the studio of Veronique San Leandro — then see the work posted on her website.  Image courtesy of the artist
Paint what you please, in the studio of Veronique San Leandro — then see the work posted on her website. Image courtesy of the artist