Alexander Nixon (MA) for the Kingsman on the MFAs

First Year MFAs Open their Studios to Public this Friday and Saturday
By Alexander Nixon ( , Managing Arts Editor

This Friday and Saturday, twenty-seven Master of Fine Arts candidates will open their studios to the public, unveiling creations from their first year of love, labor, and learning here at Brooklyn College. By inviting the public into the artists’ inner sanctum, Open Studios organizers hope visitors will engage artists about their creative processes.

For example, visitors to Mitch Patrick ( ‘s 6th floor art studio in Boylan Hall will be able to see what hi-tech tools transformed his ideas into art. He said, "I’ll be exhibiting CNC laser routed illuminated panels, 3-dimensional printed work, as well as videos."

"I’ve learned how to use these technologies through taking classes, building my own [3D] printer, and learning the software needed to run the machines I’m currently using. For me, challenges arise from change and progression, which is also a driving force. My curiosity is also something that I challenge, so it’s important for me to explore these new tools and find out how I can use them to realize my ideas/plans," he said.

According to Professor Jennifer McCoy, who is the faculty coordinator for this year’s event, the 2013 MFA spring open house is the first of its kind to be organized by first year MFA candidates. The first-year MFAs will take over the Graduate Art club next year. The open studios event marks their "take-over" as second-year students, when they finalize work for their thesis exhibitions.

McCoy said coordinating back-to-back Open Studios and thesis shows is a challenge for organizers but a blessing for Open Studios visitors, who will be able to glimpse at preparations by second year students for their thesis shows.

"[Open Studios] visitors can watch as these students put the finishing touches on the culmination of their graduate work," he said.

Twenty-seven year-old Chicago native Kate Ostler ( plans on showing some recent ceramic pieces she has been working on in the ceramics studio in Whitehead Hall.

"It’s been a while since I focused on a body of ceramic work," she said. "And the Open Studios will be a nice time for me to show others what I’ve been doing so far this semester."

"I also enjoy MFA Open Studios because the twenty-seven of us are so seldom available in our studios at the same time- it’s nice to know that I can drop in on other artists to view and encourage their work, and it’s nice to know that some of them might do the same for me."

"Everything that’s in my studio has been made while I’ve been at BC," Olster said. "Everything shown by MFAs in this Open Studios event should be stuff that the MFA students made during their first year."

Ostler said, "the MFAs have been trying our best to promote the event to the greater Brooklyn College community, as well as other arts organizations, arts-oriented universities, and galleries. We’ve reached out to the art department, all art majors including the BFA group, and have set up a Facebook page with more information."

Ostler enjoys the event’s "inviting atmosphere" and that it gives visitors the opportunity to meet the artists.

"It’s great to have a mix of visitors who are not familiar with our work, and other students who may have an idea about what we’re focused on. I’m especially interested in seeing the second-year MFA studios, as this is their last Open Studio before their Thesis Show and graduation," she said.

The MFAs open their studios this Friday, March 22 from 4pm to 10pm and Saturday from noon to 6pm.

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