To those of us who make our homes in Brooklyn, the changes are clear. From the early days of industry and immigration, factories and felony at the hot sticky center of the melting pot, Bushwick, Greenpoint and Williamsburg have spent the last decade bursting into full bloom as New York’s premier incubators for emerging artists at the forefront of contemporary art.
In the beginning, the rent was cheap, and artists flocked to the repurposed warehouses and DIY lofts of the riverside industrial sector. Now, the more than 40 galleries that spread from Bedford to Bushwick feature paste-up vigilantes alongside A-list art stars. The atmospheric change when you step off the L train is almost tangible – a wave of hungry, young energy, tempered by a complex support system woven through years of artistic cooperation. The galleries on the scene run the gamut from tiny back- room boutiques to multi-level storefronts, but you’d be hard pressed to find the notoriously intimidating attitude offered by the old guard of Chelsea. We owe this to the fact that while its concentration of young artists, musicians, and designers guarantees a formidable cache of relevancy and experimentation, Brooklyn’s real strength lies in the prevailing sense that it is still, after all, made up of neighborhoods and close-knit communities.
In September, Castle Braid will present the first incarnation of BROOKLYN ARTILLERY, bringing together the best of Brooklyn Arts and Music in the apartments of the new Castle Braid Building at 114 Troutman in Bushwick.
The exhibition will be launched with a two-night launch event showcasing the collective power of Brooklyn’s best creative minds. The galleries of the Williamsburg Gallery Association will populate the open apartments and chic garden duplexes of Castle Braid with works by up-and- coming and established artists. Some will reinvent and reimagine the blank canvas of a living space; others will create a bona fide miniature gallery with wine and cheese receptions and a curated rotation of works. On the ground floor and in the landscaped shade of the enclosed courtyard, performers will treat guests to a living, breathing artistic / musical experience, while on designated walls specially invited street and graffiti artists notorious to our neighborhood will have the freedom to transform without the threat of repercussion.
ARTILLERY is our answer to the art fairs of Basel and Armory, but more than that – the name covers a cache of ongoing creative events and happenings that will take place throughout the building and neighborhood in general. Yoga and dance workshops, film festivals in Castle Braid’s new mini-theater, screen-printing parties and figure drawing sessions are just a few of the treats in store in the year to come.