Long Island City artist with space for experience

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Photo Courtesy of Jesse Winter
Photo Courtesy of Jesse Winter


The artistic community of Long Island City is an ever-evolving collection of painters, photographers, sculptors and preternatural inhabitants of every other imaginable art form. They are in L.I.C. for the camaraderie, the easy access to Manhattan and, of course, the gallery space.

Ten10 Studios opened its doors to the L.I.C community on June 3, 2010 and welcomed upon its walls the first of many local creative expressions. Since then the historic carriage house has not only been transformed into a photography studio for local photographer Jesse Winter, but also has become an extension of his vision in art. The space allows him to open his doors as a beacon of art, music and performances for not just locals but all who have been inspired by one form or another. Winter’s vision has caused a positive ripple effect in the local artist community by allowing them to have a venue to express their artistic vision.

Winter first arrived in L.I.C in 2003. He walked down Vernon Boulevard and straight into Cassino Restaurant — little did he know his destiny would be altered by meeting the Anzalone family, who happened to know of an apartment for rent. That meeting later changed his destiny when his new place in the L.I.C community led directly to him meeting future wife Missy, who works for Doctors Without Borders.

It all came together for Winter, all of his chance meetings convinced him to firmly plant his tripod in L.I.C. His inspiration of life and love comes from his surroundings of family and friends and being inspired by his local surroundings; he decided to create a space for his open media. Not just to create a photo opportunity or to capture a moment in time, but to bring some variety to his form of pictorial cultivation. In doing so, he has created an open studio for local community artists to be able to show on a level that otherwise would not be possible on Vernon Boulevard — which is mainly known for shops and restaurants — a fresh breath of culture without having to walk up to Jackson Avenue.

Winter, as a portrait photographer, has been focusing on children and families. His artistic vision for these subjects brings out their purity and captures the moments that quickly fade as time advances.

“Children are the sketched version of whatever they will become except more beautiful, pure and true,” he said. “Ten10 Studios is the perfect space to control light and catch moments with children. Making portraits of children that transcend their age is my goal.”

Moments with loved ones can pass in a blur, as Winter learned in a tragic way.

In the midst of showing his work at other local places like his American Payphone at L.I.C Market and NYC Composite Landscape at the Industry, his beloved brother Adam passed away after a 32 year struggle with congestive heart failure. Adam’s struggle and dedication to living life to the fullest will be an inspiration to Winter and the L.I.C community for the rest of his life.

And his inspiration seems to be on a constant flow. Since opening his studio, Winter has exhibited his own projects like Homegrown L.I.C — portraits of L.I.C community members, iTrain and Edible Arts — highlighting L.I.C chiefs and their creations. Besides his personal work, there has been over 25 local artists displayed — all of which have either given first chances or reignited seasoned careers. It was no small feat to open the studio as it took friends helping with renovations and local merchants donating food for openings — it has truly been a community affair.

Winter is always looking for new ways to create and share with the community. The only rule is the carriage house doors always close at 10:10 p.m. To round out the season, he is transforming his studio into a Winter Wonderland and opening his doors again for an event on December 11, allowing families to take their portraits. In addition to that holiday present, on December 17 Amanda and Sam, local artists, are performing “The Three Cords and Truth,” a cabaret show and art exhibit of gay icons.

Accepting all of the different types of artists L.I.C has to offer into his studio amplifies the importance of places like Ten10. People tell stories through their journeys and it is wise to catch those stories and tell them while the chance is at hand.

“The value is in the experience, whether five people show up or 50,” he said. “If it is not good for creativity, conversation and community it is not good. The best experiences happen because you’re open to letting them happen.”

For new experiences, contact Ten10Studios at www.ten10studios.com or call Jesse Winter at 646-271-5353. Ten10 Studios is located at 10-10 47th Road in L.I.C.