'Art Is Love Made Public': Tribeca Artists to Open Their Studio Doors

Clockwise: "New York City Landscape" by Noah Kinigstein; "Homage" by Irene Mamiye; and "Sainte Rose" by Joe Bilger

May. 13, 2017

For 21 years, Tribeca Open Art Studio Tour (TOAST) has been luring crowds of art lovers to Tribeca—from the serious collector to serendipitous buyer. Next Friday, May 19, 30 artists will once again open their studios to the public for the start of this meandering four-day, self-guided tour that continues to stretch geographically and in other ways.

"We have expanded our borders," said artist and TOAST president Shawn Washburn, "to include artists in Soho and east of Broadway."  Several artists from around the city and beyond will be live-streaming their work to Tribeca studios. (See www.toastartwalk.com for details.)

TOAST has also recast its definition of visual artist to include a filmmaker and a shoe designer.

Visitors themselves are being encouraged to make art, with a one-minute video of their TOAST experience that will be shown at an exhibit in the fall.

Although the days when Tribeca was awash with artist studios are long gone, the three-day event continues to be rich enough to offer something for everyone—from John Stuart's seductive urban and nature photographs to Czech-native Franta Nedved's work made by burning pigments into wood to Monica Forrestall's delicate watercolors of stylized flowers.


"Beyond experiencing a variety of art," Washburn said, "I also view it as time travel. You can see Tribeca studios you could never get to see that go back to the '70s and '80s and feel like old New York."

Many visitors just enjoy the rare opportunity to speak to artists about their work and see where and how it is created.


Washburn encourages the visitors to pace themselves, go slowly and savor the experience.

"What we do as artists is expose ourselves," he noted. "Art is love made public."


The art walk starts at Soho Photo, 15 White St., where there will be an "Affordable Photography Fair," with prints at $100 each. But the visitor can pick up the trail anywhere in the neighborhood. Maps can be downloaded here.