Red Hook, a part of Brooklyn which is not traditionally thought of as an art gallery haven, has plenty to offer art lovers willing to get over there. It’s a bit of a hike from the Williamsburg/Greenpoint/Bushwick art scene, but the Sandy-surviving neighborhood has something extra those neighborhoods can’t offer: views of the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan. Here are our favorites.
(1) Kentler International Drawing Space
353 Van Brunt Street
Gallery hours : Thursday – Sunday, 12pm – 5pm
info [AT] kentlergallery.org
Kentler International Drawing Space focuses on bringing contemporary drawings and works on paper to the public. A non-profit founded by artists Florence Neal and Scott Pfaffman in April 1990, the gallery sponsors monthly and bi-monthly exhibitions featuring solo, group shows and installations by some of New York’s most exciting emerging artists. The gallery sponsors international artists too, giving them an opportunity to visit North America and exhibit their work in New York. Exhibitions & Events primarily include contemporary drawings and works on paper. Similarly, the Kentler Flatfiles consists of drawings and works on paper by over 16 artists, which are available for viewing by curators, collectors and the general public by appointment.
Kentler also makes sure it stays connected to Red Hook and Brooklyn as a whole with programs for families and kids. Their Drawing Together program, for instance, involves a teaching artist leading a 90-minute weekend workshop based on the gallery’s current exhibition, for $10 to $15 max. They also work with local schools on on-site art education, and run after-school programs with Red Hook community groups such as Good Shepherd Services, Red Hook Initiative and The Red Hook Community Justice Center.
(2) Auguste Garufi
610 Smith Street
Gallery hours: By appointment
studio [AT] augustegarufi.com
Born in Utica, New York, Auguste Garufi lives and works from his studio in Red Hook. Garufi uses a variety media, such as painting and sculpture, and his subject matters are truly original as he refrains from using modern tools to make his art, preferring to create his ingredients from scratch. Garufi “honors the sacred in the mundane, ” according to art critic, Liz Rosenberg. His beautiful studio and gallery is open to the public, after having recovered and being rebuilt from the damages of Hurricane Sandy. One of Garufi’s 2013 installations, “Conversation In The Garden,” was made from stencilled floor text pieces in salt, steel, paper, and mixed media pieces. His other stunning and original pieces are also made from organic materials and the artist.
Address: 481 Van Brunt Street
contact [AT] enterstillhouse.com
The Still House Group, founded in 2007 by Isaac Brest and Alex Perweiler, is an emerging arts organization, ran and supported by artists, providing young creatives with an environment to conceptualize, produce and exhibit their own work. According to their website, The Still House Group encourages members “to assist, critique and formally represent one another, ultimately creating a collective drive,” consequently balancing the progress of members’ individual careers as well as the development of Still House as a whole. Their permanent location is in Red Hook, serving as a space for young artists’ new work, “a satellite environment to the art center of Manhattan,” creating independently from the hulking behemoth right across the water.
(4) Kamau Studios
183 Lorraine Street, 3rd floor, Studio #5
Gallery hours: By appointment
kamau [AT] kamaustudios.com
Kamau Ware is a Brooklyn-based photographic artist specializing in visual storytelling. Through his studio in Red Hook, which Kamau runs with his wife Lesie, custom photographic art, books, videos and short films are being created, which tell moving human stories. Kamau Studios has become a community for storytellers that welcomes new voices to the creative process. Kamau and Leslie were also behind the Warehouse Gallery, the affordable art gallery that opened in Bed-Stuy last year and is now open by appointment in Red Hook. Leslie and Kamau’s backgrounds originate in teaching, which Leslie also utilizes at her sewing school, Creative Cookie, which is an adjoining and additional platform run by the couple. Their studio in Red Hook serves as a visual storytelling laboratory for artists, families, organizations, and brands. As Kamau said in a conversation with me, “ideas are limitless.”
(5) Rhombus Space
183 Lorraine Street, 3rd Floor, #33
Gallery hours: Saturdays and Sundays 1pm-5pm
email: info [AT] rhombusspace.com
Founder and Director, Katerina Lanfranco, opened Rhombus Space, a contemporary art gallery in Brooklyn, as a space to reflect her tastes as an artist, educator and curator. Rhombus Space invites artists to exhibit their work in the context of their peers. Rhombus Space exhibitions are built around curatorial themes that bring together diverse artwork by innovative contemporary artists. Their last show featured the A-Side and B-Side work by 6 NYC-based artists: Jolynn Krystosek, Sharon Louden, Rachel Ostrow, Don Porcella, Richard Saja, and Nicole Tschampel. In addition to work from their fine art practice, each artist also showed work from their artistic side projects, such as handmade jewelry, apparel, a book, hand-roasted coffee,music, fermentation kits, etc. This exhibition focused on examining the trend of artists extending their creativity outside the realm of a traditional studio practice and into the everyday world.
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