Thursday, December 17, 2009
Artists leaving LIC, losing work spaces
From the Daily News:
EMERGING artists struggling to afford studio space in Long Island City's many industrial buildings may soon face yet another loss.
The Space, a neighborhood art organization that works with up-and-coming artists, may be on the brink of losing its work and performance area.
While this might have little effect on the neighborhood's established galleries and museums, it would leave struggling artists with one less venue after well-known art spaces 5Pointz and the Art-O-Mat L.I.C. closed this year.
"We've seen a lot of artists move out since this summer," said The Space's executive director, Kristy Schopper. "The gap between the institutions and the individual artists seems much bigger."
She found padlocks on her group's West St. location last week. The space was temporarily donated to the nonprofit by the Modell family and has changed property owners several times over the last few months.
"I am not sure that I can keep that property open," she said.
But she still plans to hold on to the group's Fardom Gallery and the Winter Cabin, used for studios and activities.
Art-O-Mat closed in May after husband-and-wife Kenny Greenberg and Diane Hendry couldn't find a group to take over their four-year-old gallery and community space, Greenberg said.
He believes that the closing of spaces like his have had a negative impact on struggling artists.
Meanwhile, "the development and the so-called upscaling of the neighborhood have forced people out of studios and forced people out of apartments," he added.