Object magazine 62 — MAD Open Studios
Wednesday May 09 2012
In a successful attempt to enhance the experience of their visitors, New York City’s Museum of Arts and Design established the Open Studio Program in 2008. A three month in-house residency, the program allows six artists to work in a studio on the sixth floor, providing them with prime public exposure. In addition, museum visitors are given the opportunity to learn about craft and design practice. However, by blurring the line between a private studio and a place for unrestrained public discussion, one begins to question the benefits of this noon-traditional space.
As well as more conventional jewellery and ceramic practices, the current program houses Don Porcella, a pipe-cleaner sculptor whose thoughts on the Open Studio Program provoke the same fascination one gets from looking at his hand-made tools.
‘It really has pushed and pulled me in interesting directions,’ says Porcella as he weaves a red pipe-cleaner through a blue. ‘I have already met several interesting people and made connections that I have been following up with. One of them is a woman who is working on her own design project and I am helping her oversee it and get the product to market.’
On this particular day of his residency, a self portrait ‘painting’ is being constructed from various coloured pipe-cleaners. A fuzzy rainbow has been strewn across the table, along with the wire hooks that Porcella crafted to make his practice more precise and as we continue to talk, more museum visitors enter the open studio space. Excitement spills through their questions and the weaving stops.
Olivia Sholler is an Australian based in New York City, where she has been assisting a curator at the Museum of Arts and Design since early-2011.
Object Eye is previewing Object magazine issue 62 over coming weeks. To continue reading about MAD Open Studios and how the participants respond to the unique environment, download the free app for iPad or Android tablet, or read the browser-friendly version on this website — click here to find out how. To continue reading previews of this issue, click here.