On May 16th and 17th Madarts (where SDS Faculty member Cynthia Lawson has her studio) ends six months of darkness and goes public with their Spring Open Studio Tour – an invitation into the South Slope warehouse-turned-art-shop that happens only twice a year. The tour includes over 40 artists’ paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, film and video. The hours are noon to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday at the Madarts Building, 255 18th Street at 5th Avenue in Brooklyn. The crew puts on a solid, no frills art show in a gloriously makeshift and perfectly makeshift DIY warehouse space. The tour offers a peek into the private art studios where artists host individual receptions for their newest bodies of work.

Besides several new food and drink offerings in striking distance, it’s an easy destination: R train to Prospect Ave. or F train at 4th Ave. and 9th St. get you there in as little as two blocks. Madarts is located just above Fifth Ave. on 18th St. between Fifth and Sixth Ave. The nearest subway stop is Prospect Ave. on the R line. Exit the station using the stairs on the left. Walk straight from the stairs on Fourth Ave. to 18th St. Make a left at 18th St. Cross Fifth Ave. Look for a large white industrial building. Enter at the girded glass window front filled with greenery.

Madarts Studios consists of 40 painting, sculpture, photography, video/film and music studios, a woodshop and a darkroom. More than an artists building it is an international group of very committed, well educated and experienced professionals, widely shown and entirely focused on honing their talents and finding their place in the world of fine arts. 2009 is a very important year for the group. With the relocation of the gallery to Broome Street in The Lower East Side the work will be seen by many more critics, curators and art buyers. With the addition of another project in the heart of France and a number of studios in Manhattan the strength of the group should make for a stimulating work environment, stronger work and a vital and fascinating gallery. The Giacobetti-Paul Gallery, named after the architects of the project, will open this summer. Please check the website for more information.