Meet the Artists of Tribeca


If you’ve never checked out the Tribeca Open Artist Studio Tour, which starts this Friday and runs through Monday, you should. TOAST is far more than a chance to look at art. “It’s a rare opportunity to see artists and their art in the space where they created it,” says director and participating artist Shawn Washburn. For some of us, it’s also a chance to poke our noses in otherwise off-limits places.

“Tour” isn’t quite the right word, because it’s more of a bunch of open houses, but I suppose TOASOH doesn’t have the same ring to it. Not every artist will be around all four days, so you need to do some research in advance. (That’s a good idea anyway, just to get a sense of their work; 76 artists are opening their doors this year, and TOAST’s website has a map showing everyone’s location.) A number of galleries are on the list, including the studios at the New York Academy of Art.

I just got a preview, stopping by Coco Masuda‘s studio on Franklin Street so I could take her photo. We talked about her artwork (which I find irresistible), Tribeca, and how the two meet, especially in a diptych-in-progress, “After Yaffa,” of the empty Yaffa space. “It’s a very emotional one for me symbolizing the end of bohemian Tribeca,” said Masuda (pictured above), who is an established illustrator moving into fine art. This will be her first year as a TOAST artist. “Since I don’t have a gallery yet, participating in TOAST means a lot to me.”

I’ve had only good experiences with TOAST, but I remember being a little nervous about ringing the first buzzer. What if I feel trapped? I thought. What if I hate the work? What if he tries to sell me his art? It wasn’t at all like that. (“But a lot of artists will sell their art,” said Washburn when I mentioned this to him. I explained that I was just worried the artist might lock the door behind me and not let me leave until I bought something. “Only I do that,” he said. He’s funny!) All of which is to say that it’s an enjoyable way to pass a few hours, it’s guaranteed to be interesting, and you’ll get to see places and meet people that you otherwise wouldn’t. Cheers to that!


1 Comment

  1. I love this event and have never ever felt “trapped” in a studio or apartment by an artist. I applaud all of the artists who contribute to the success of this event year after year and encourage anyone who loves art or the process of making it to take the [self] tour.