Kicking off tonight in midtown Manhattan is EFA Open Studios 2015, an annual event presented by the Studio Program of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (EFA), a public charity providing affordable space and resources to emerging professional artists. 

An opening reception takes place tonight, October 22, 2015, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Studios remain open through Saturday afternoon with additional programming and receptions being held throughout the building. Everything takes place at the EFA Center located at 323 West 39th Street, New York, NY. Coinciding with the EFA Open Studios is the two-day Garment District Arts Festival held October 22 through 24, 2015. Click here for details. 

The EFT Open Studios peels back studio doors of 73 member artists set on the building’s third through tenth floors. The artists, according to organizers, work in a wide range of media and sensibilities and are continuously producing, a requirement of the juried Studio Program. Most of the artists will be in their studios during Open Studios to answer questions and present their works.


A work from the studio of EFA Studio Program member artist Jessie Brugger. Courtesy The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts.

A work from the studio of EFA Studio Program member artist Jessie Brugger. Courtesy The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts.


Participating artists include Sally Egbert, Max Razdow, Stella Ebner, Catherine Howe, Cecile Chong, Richard Barnes, Carlos Vega, Tai Hwa Goh, Wafaa Bilal, Jonathan Ehrenberg, Cui Fei, Thomas Pihl, Liselot van der Heijden, Maria Berrio, Richard Hart, Javier Romero, Denise Treizman, Michael Eade  and others. Click here for the full list and an example of their work.

Expect to see studios by eight new artists the program accepted this year: Lucas Ajemian, William Allen, Sean Fader, Yongjae Kim, Patte Loper, Jeanette May, Steed Taylor and Denise Treizman.

There are artists connected to The Hamptons and Long Island among the artist-residents. For instance, Sally Egbert was formally based in The Hamptons and has exhibited at Spanierman Gallery, Solomon Contemporary, Fireplace Project and Halsey Mckay Gallery in East Hampton, among others. Cui Fei has exhibited her work on Long Island at the Islip Art Museum, the Hillwood Art Museum at CW Post, Alpan Gallery in Huntington, Art Sites in Riverhead and others.

Anthony Tino, Interim Assistant Director of the EFA Studio Program, wrote in a recent email that this year’s Open Studios will follow the setup of those in the past. The event attracts collectors, fellow artists, students, and general art aficionados.

“It’s really important for us to make sure that we think of Open Studios not only as a social event, but also a professional networking event for our artists,” Tino said.


The studio of EFA Studio Program member artist Angela Fraleigh. Courtesy The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts

The studio of EFA Studio Program member artist Angela Fraleigh. Courtesy The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts


The EFA Open Studios event is EFA’s biggest each year, drawing 2,500 to 3,000 people, many of them curators and dealers, said Tino.

The first EFA Open Studio event took place in 1999, one year after the establishment of their Studio Program. The program, which can accommodate up to 80 member artists at once, offers affordable  sub-market studio rentals for vetted visual artists with established art practices. EFA also offers professional opportunities including a visiting professionals program and exhibition events during  Armory Arts Week in March.

The EFA Open Studios event is a great way for our member artists to connect with art world professionals,” Tino said. “So it's not surprising that some long-term relationships are formed during the event.”

EFA Open Studios organizers also invite “...people who are simply looking to catch a glimpse into a professional artist studio, as events like this both demystify the artist studios and present context and an artist's methodology, which might not be present in a gallery or museum exhibition,” said Tino.

In addition to visiting artist studios, there is programming. The EFA Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, another branch of the foundation located on the second floor, will be hosting tours and printmaking demonstrations on Saturday, October 24, 2015 from 1 to 6 p.m.

The printmaking workshop’s annual members show will be shown in the building’s fifth-floor Blackburn 20|20 Gallery, with an opening reception for the exhibition on Friday, October 23, 2015 from 6 to 9 p.m. The exhibition, containing works by member artists showing a range of printmaking techniques, will remain on view until November 12, 2015.


BASIC FACTS: “Open Studios 2015” takes place from October 22 to 24, 2015.  The Opening Reception takes place October 22, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Studios continue to be open on Friday, October 23, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturday, October 24, from 1 to 6 p.m. Free. The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts is located at 323 West 39 Street, New York NY 10018.


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