This week City-Wide Open Studios is putting 350 New Haven artists on the map.

The organization takes local artists’ work and provides exhibition space all over the city in a three-week celebration of the Elm City’s art.

The opening celebration was held Friday night at the Chamberlain Building (77 Crown St.). A jazz band played softly as patrons looked at small works by every artist involved with the project.

Along with these sample pieces were guides to subsequent exhibits so that patrons could choose work that interested them and attend those artists’ full exhibitions.

The goal of the exhibition is to expose New Haven artists to the public and to get the word out about art in the city.

“A lot of the work is for sale,” said Helen Kauder, director of Artspace, the umbrella organization that runs City-Wide Open Studios (CWOS). “It’s a way for artists to boost income.”

Exhibition space across the city includes traditional galleries and innovative new venues. The Smoothie Building, an abandoned bra factory, will house larger installations, bands and dance performances. Restaurants, music stores and even the streets of New Haven will also serve as artistic settings during the exhibition. In addition, several artists will be opening their studios for tours.

The CWOS program is open to all artists from Fairfield to the shoreline who want to get involved.

“It’s a democratic, unjuried event and any artist is invited,” Kauder said. “Every artist here is interested in making a dialogue with the community.”

The artists involved are enthusiastic about the project, and it has expanded greatly in the last three years since its inception.

“It’s a fantastic event,” said Martin Kruck, whose work at the main exhibition consisted of a simple metal clipboard and a sparse sketch. “It gets a lot bigger every year.”

Participants also look at the event as a head start in the art business.

“It’s a great way to get immersed in the art community,” said Mia Brownell. Brownell chose a small oil painting to show at the main exhibit, and more of her work will be at the Smoothie Building.

The main exhibition encompassed a huge variety of styles and media. There were drawings in charcoal and even colored pencil, computer generated images, delicate alabaster forms and photographs of all kinds. Taking note of the work that caught their attention, visitors walked around the gallery and planned the rest of their visits accordingly.

City-Wide Open Studios: If You Go

The main exhibition at 77 Crown Street is located at the corner of Crown and Orange Street, across from JK Hair Art on Crown Street and between Bentara and Royal Palace restaurants on Orange Street. The main exhibition gallery will be open seven days a week from October 6 through October 21, 2000, from 12-5 PM. A website for the exhibition can be found at

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