Over the past two decades, Brooklyn has proclaimed itself a cultural hot-spot for experimentation as artists migrated in search of open spaces and economical rent. The first hub appeared in Williamsburg, spurring the regeneration that revamped the now-flourishing borough. Galleries and art spaces augment the boutique-filled streets with an artsy air of creative energy. We highlight veterans of the Williamsburg art scene alongside newcomers that proclaim the area’s continued artistic prominence.
Pierogi was opened in 1994 by owners Joseph Arnheim and Susan Swenson. The pair strives to showcase Brooklyn’s diverse artistic community by representing both established and emerging artists who work with a wide range of mediums. Featured artists include Dawn Clements, Tony Fitzpatrick, and Yoon Lee. Pierogi also has a massive satellite exhibition space in a former factory called The BOILER where artists can mount ambitious projects. The gallery celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2014 by mounting a group show of over 20 artists who have exhibited with this well-known Williamsburg institution.
Pierogi Gallery, 177 North 9th Street, Brooklyn, NY, USA +1 718 599 2144
The Journal started as an independent magazine that brought together creator Michael Nevin’s two interests: snowboarding and art. After meeting Julia Dippelhofer, his endeavor escalated and The Journal Gallery was born in 2004. Originally located in the East Village, The Journal features work created by artists for the magazine, but quickly grew to incorporate a roster of promising emerging talent including Rita Ackerman, Michael Williams, Sarah Braman, and Graham Collins. Manhattan gallery, Venus Over Manhattan, mounted a retrospective commemorating The Journal Gallery’s last decade, which illustrates The Journal’s importance to the New York art scene.
The Journal Gallery, 106 North First Street, Brooklyn, NY, USA +1 718 218 7148
Over the past 15 years, Front Room Gallery has become a Williamsburg staple through exhibitions of mid-career and emerging artists. Directors Daniel Aycock and Kathleen Vance support art that is ephemeral and conceptual, and not necessarily commercial, highlighting their dedication to art for art’s sake. Concentrating on photography, conceptual art, video, audio art and installation, Front Room Gallery represents noted photographers Sasha Bezzubov and Stephen Mallon as well as painters Thomas Broadbent and Mark Masyga. In the spirit of innovation, The Front Room maintained a public component from 2001 to 2009 called the Banner Project and still offers multiples and editions online.
Front Room Gallery, 147 Roebling Street, Brooklyn, NY, USA +1 718 782 2556
Opened in 2000, Figureworks, is dedicated to promoting contemporary and 20th century fine art that deals with notions of the human form. This specialized gallery focuses exclusively on the human form. Representing a range of national and international artists working in a variety of mediums, Figureworks highlights the depth of artistic innovation within a single subject matter. Their exhibitions regularly incorporate two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects to illuminate this variety. Keeping with theme, the gallery hosts life drawing classes on Saturdays.
Figureworks, 168 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY, USA +1 718 486 7021
Richard Timperio’s South Williamsburg gallery Sideshow opened in 1999 as a space to nurture young, local talent while giving them exposure to, and igniting dialogue with the New York arts community. They still show work by Brooklyn-based emerging artists, but over the years have gained a notable roster of established talent like Thornton Willis, Dan Christensen, Robert C. Morgan and Chris Martin. They also exhibit rotating solo shows with ambitious endeavors like Sideshow Nation, an annual exhibit that showcases over 500 artists and illustrates Timperio’s ability to anchor the Williamsburg art scene. Wander through Sideshow’s colorfully playful façade to see what wonders await inside.
Sideshow, 319 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, USA +1 718 486 8180