Art me up! A guide to upcoming free art fairs

Bushwick Open Studios returns for its fifth year next month. Photo from 2009 by Flickr's Joann Kim

Your warm-weather free music plans may have been paywalled or thrown on the rocks indefinitely, but luckily the chance to view loads of incredible art sans-prix is alive, well, and just building up steam for the spring and summer seasons. Scan through our round-up of coming attractions, get that Dali ‘stache growing, and let your inner arts critic run wild (especially since most of these involve free booze). You can even kick off your warm weather season of arts appreciation tonight with DUMBO’s monthly free gallery walk. 

DUMBO & Culture411’s First Thursday Gallery Walk
First Thursday of each month (today!)
If your commitment to the arts took a wintry nosedive, now’s the time to get back out there. DUMBO’s First Thursday Gallery Walk returns for May with open studios, art from multiple disciplines and free booze from 5:30-8:30pm between Main and Jay Streets.

Atlantic Avenue Art Walk 2011
June 4-5
Atlantic Avenue holds its eighth annual artwalk featuring the work of more than 300 artists. Studios and venues are scattered throughout Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Gowanus and Downtown Brooklyn. Besides the avalanche of art, the weekend also includes live music, public art projects, films, performances and specials at neighborhood bars and restaurants. Curated tours are also offered free of charge. Find more details, lists of participating artists and businesses, and an events schedule and map here.

Bushwick Open Studios ’11
June 3-5
Bushwick’s premiere arts party returns for a fifth year with a promise of more than 500 participating artists taking over the ‘hood’s streets, parks, lofts, roofs, businesses and studios. Last year’s event sprawled across 3 miles of Bushwick and into Williamsburg, Bed-Stuy and Ridgewood and included special events like a Cabaret show, a 17-band music fest, and a panel and open forum on local housing and commercial policy. Updates to the 2011 schedule can be found here.

Brooklyn Museum’s Target’s First Saturday
First Saturday of each month
This month’s First Saturday lineup is nature-themed with live music and dance performances, a documentary screening, gallery talks, interactive art projects, a book reading and open mic session, and a dance party spinning straight-up Brooklyn soul. If you’re starving for a smorgasboard of arts and culture, this afternoon is your fully-loaded fix. See the full schedule and details for free tickets here.

Renegade Craft Fair, via Paul Kieper

Renegade Craft Fair
June 11-12
For an arts experience that turns up the down-home appeal without compromising its uptown vibes, there is the Renegade Craft Fair in Greenpoint’s McCarren Park. The weekend boasts a “best of” list when it comes to local and national DIY and craft artisans. Peruse the stands for inspiration and take a hands-on workshop to test your trad-ey tricks. Get the deets on what else you can expect here.


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