Back in August, just a few months after I started at Bond Collective, we realized we had 1. a lot of beautiful space we weren’t utilizing; and 2. that we wanted to be deepen our relationship with the community. With the help of ArtsGowanus and our local community, we organized our first pop-up art show that we dubbed Artfully August. A wide range of artists—from abstract to photographs; oil to mixed media—were interested in putting up their work. We showed work from Amanda Spadaccini , Deborah Liljegren, Justin Horowitz, and Rich Garr. We even included a personal painting I did of a man sleeping on the train. In hindsight, it was an unorganized attempt that proved to be a lot of work and only fruitful based on everyone’s enthusiasm. But we learned a lot; members loved the artwork, artist loved having a place to display their work, and the pop-up show was a great opportunity to engage with the space. We realized we wanted to create further art programming.
Here are some of the questions we asked ourselves:
How do we do keep our spaces creative and fresh? There are the creative works that our members bring in—awesome projects, film shoots, film screenings. Our partners and members are our greatest assets. Spencer Starnes who is able to find unique personalities in headshots, and Om Digital, whom combine art and technology to create an inspiring 360-experience. The foundation was there, but we wanted to do more.
How do we create a sense of community when we have 47,000 square feet and over 450 members? And how do we do it in a way that integrates instead of overrides the Gowanus community? We definitely don’t have all of the answers, but it’s exciting to officially announce we’ll be running a three-month long art programs with rotating local artists.
Our launch of the program began with an exhibit with Ella Yang and Amy Williams, showing 40+ of their best, and most recent works from November through the end of February. Amy’s black and white photographs echoed Ella’s contemporary oil cityscapes of Chinatown and Gowanus, Brooklyn.
We’ve just recently hung our second exhibit as well. Currently we’re showing work by Gail Flanery and Karen Gibbons (friends of Amy and Ella’s), another pair whose work thoughtfully compliments one another. Karen’s collages, mixed media, and spiritual pieces fit nicely next to Gail’s equally moving landscape and natural element paintings. As a part of the program, both artists are welcome to use our space throughout the duration of their show, giving them space to display their latest pieces and a meeting place to connect with potential buyers. Bond Gowanus will also be hosting an art reception/opening, introducing their work to our community and giving our members an opportunity to meet the artists. The date is TBD. We hope to see you there!
Our next line up will be in May, so keep an eye out for Justin Neely’s work.
About the Author:
A native New Yorker, Anna has long been a part of the vibrant Brooklyn community. She received her MFA in Nonfiction Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and worked in publishing for years before entering into the startup space. With over 5 years of management experience, Anna strives to create a positive, creative, and warm space for the members at Bond Collective Gowanus. She’s well traveled, speaks two Chinese dialects, and can be found roaming from coffee shop to coffee shop in Park Slope on the weekends.
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