Now that the G train is (more regularly) reliable, hopping on the train to Greenpoint Avenue is a great alternative to your typical weekend Bedford Ave/Brooklyn Flea/Berg’n routine. Long overshadowed by the perhaps more visible Williamsburg and Bushwick gallery scenes, the waterside stretch of Greenpoint boasts an impressive number of cozy, collaboratively-run artist studios and exhibition spaces, all conveniently nestled together for a perfect lazy Sunday stroll. The best part? They’re all free! Let’s take a look.
104 Green Street
First stop, check out 106 Green, a gallery run by longtime friends Mitchell Wright, Ridley Howard and Holly Coulis. The trio started 106 Green as a means to break down the idea of the art gallery as an exclusive, intimidating space– they invite local makers and curators to formulate their own programming, and as a result, 106 Green hosts a diverse range of shows in different media. Currently on display is Allison Evans’ series of drawings, Amuse-Bouche, described by the artist as a playful and neurotic exploration of everyday feminist politics.
154 Huron Street
1pm-5pm Saturdays and Sundays
Just down the street from 106 Green is Heliopolis (154 Huron St), a group run project space “dedicated to fostering a dialogue across all disciplines of making.” Not only an art gallery, Heliopolis also publishes an in-house zine featuring works of fiction and non-fiction, interviews, and of course, art. Heliopolis is currently showing Down My Rabbit Hole, realist paintings by Kyle Coniglio with an undoubtedly uncanny edge.
155 Freeman Street
Hours: see calendar
If you’re interested in the cinematic arts or digital media, good thing you’re near Light Industry (155 Freeman St). The experimental film and electronic art venue houses weekly workshops, lectures, film screenings and art exhibitions often hosted by the makers themselves. Be sure to be in attendance for ‘conceptual entrepreneur’ and new media artist Martine Syms’ April 28 lecture, Quality Television. Not only is her talk sure to critically engage, best of all, tickets are pay-what-you-wish!
77 Franklin Street
12pm-5pm Saturdays and Sundays
Not too far down the block you’ll find Rekover Projects (77 Franklin St), a humble storefront for “experimentation in art, design and retail.” Part boutique, part exhibition space, the shop/gallery focuses on exhibiting abstract painting and also selling local wares in their pop-up shop. They also host a monthly group reading series featuring the work of neighborhood writers, with drinks and conversation to follow.
Owen James Gallery
61 Greenpoint Avenue, Suite 315
10am – 5pm Monday- Saturday, Sunday by appointment
Occupying the historic Greenpoint Pencil Factory building, barely one year old Owen James Gallery has an ambitious mission. Devoted to the notion of art as a medium that reflects and comments on our increasingly interconnected and global world, the gallery positions itself not only as a place to view contemporary work, but also as a visual “showcase for the interweaving histories of America, Asia and Europe, with a special focus on Southeast Asia.” Currently on view is a show by Elin Rodseth, a Norwegian printmaker who makes haunting, gestural works that are small in size but big in impact.
Real Fine Arts
673 Meeker Avenue
(347) 457 6679
12pm – 6pm, Saturday and Sunday
A self-described haven for local artists (most of whom are their friends) to freely create work, Tyler Dobson and Ben Morgan-Cleveland’s Greenpoint outpost Real Fine Arts presents an inclusive look into the otherwise exclusive NYC blue-chip art world. The pair regularly show work at art fairs such as Independent and Art Basel but remain centered in cultivating eclectic, intimate programming for the local gallery scene. Their most recent show, Taslima Ahmed’s multimedia I: A High Stakes Gamble explored concepts of luck and risk. Stayed tuned for an exhibition of photographer Bill Hayden’s work opening April 11.
Booklyn Artists Alliance
37 Greenpoint Avenue
4th Floor, Suite E4G (718) 383-9621
Open everyday except Wednesday, 12pm-5pm
Booklyn Artists Alliance, or Brooklyn as it is more colloquially known, is an artist-run space in the heart of Greenpoint dedicated to the practice of book-making in all its many forms– full scale publications, hand-printed editions and zine-making, to name a few. The coalition hosts several education lecture series on aspects of book-making, all of which are open to the public. Booklyn’s gallery exhibits a wide variety of media. Most recently they showed Jonathan Campolo’s Greater Hits series, colorful studies on comic and narrative.
67 West Street Suite #203
Open Friday and Saturday, 12pm-5pm
A small exhibition space located in the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse, Calico Brooklyn focuses on providing young artists with a space to engage in new curatorial practices. Running just under 400 sq/ft, the spatial limitations of the gallery dictate the terms of not only what art is presented and displayed but also how. In the words of founder and director Scott Chasse, the venue uses this small space to its advantage, offering a unique “‘white cube’ presentation with a DIY approach.” Be sure to check out the group show currently on view which explores themes of symbolism, dreams, and temporality through mixed media.
All this art may cause visual/sensory overload. If you’re feeling hungry afterwards, be sure to stop by Jungle Cafe (996 Manhattan Ave, between Huron and Green) for their popular all-you-can-eat vegan brunch buffet. Maybe you’re more of a carnivore? Alameda (195 Franklin St) has a burger that’s one of Brooklyn’s best. Bonus points for their awesome cocktail list! If you just want a beer, hit up The Diamond (43 Franklin Street), which has the perfect backyard for sitting in and discussing the merits of the art you just saw.
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Rekover Projects has closed and moved to Upstate NY per their website.