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If the New York art scene ever feels too insular, too solitary or too stoic, check in with pencil-wielding 38-year-old Calandra. On a lark in April 2011, the Brooklyn artist scheduled a studio visit with an artist she knew well—her husband, Erik den Breejen—insinuated herself into his space and stayed to draw what she saw. Since then, she has expanded on her initial whim, visiting more than 60 local artists and posting reproductions of their work on her blog, Pencil in the Studio, and in doing so has helped create a community in the often closed-off art scene. “It’s lonely and hard and frustrating sometimes,” says Calandra of being an artist. “I wanted to show that, but I also come into the workspace as an enthusiastic person.” For her own gallery shows at the likes of Sardine in Bushwick, she’s also taken to reproducing pieces by Rothko and Picasso and creating her own takes on rare bookshops. As Calandra says of her charming, approachable and idiosyncratic sketches, “[My project] is indefinite. There are lots and lots of cool places to draw.”
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