The artists are coming — to Boerum Hill?
The tip of Bergen Street in the already-gentrified neighborhood is fast becoming an unlikely artists’ haven now that two cultural institutions have joined a longstanding one on the block.
Beam Center and Recession Art, Bergen Street’s newest art-world residents, have made their new home next door to Invisible Dog, a three-story multipurpose arts center in a 19th-century factory that houses a gallery and 35 artist studios.
The move of the two arts groups to the block will transform that stretch of Bergen Street into yet another creative hub within a borough that already boasts many, including DUMBO, Williamsburg, the BAM Cultural District, and, more recently, Bushwick, say art buffs.
But unlike those neighborhoods, which artists helped gentrify when they were low-rent outposts in the city, Boerum Hill already is home to the rent-raising families that sometimes force the artists out — providing a unique opportunity for the two groups to interact, says organizers.
“In many ways the space is ideal for us. It has access to subways and kids who live in the neighborhood and go to school there,” said Brian Cohen, the creator of Beam Center. “We are easily reachable for families and kids.”
The move will give Beam Center, made up of a team of engineers and artists who offer multiple four-week-long, after-school workshops for children, more of a chance for people to discover the services they offer, said Cohen.
Emma and Ani Katz, the sisters behind Recession Art, said that when they found out that the Bergen Street space was available they knew it was the perfect opportunity to ditch their former space on the Lower East Side and move to the neighborhood they have familiarized themselves with during the past three years from hosting pop-up art shows at Invisible Dog twice a year.
“We found that the neighborhood of Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill is really kind of ideal for us, and now being around these other cultural institutions will also bring us a lot of good traffic,” said Emma, who will continue to host the semiannual exhibitions at Invisible Dog.
“It’s a really good demographic for us,” she said, adding that Recession Art will sell a variety of paintings, photographs, sculptures, objects, and silk screen prints for less than $100, and feature the work of emerging artists in the new space.
“It’s going to be great for the block and all three organizations,” she said. “It is a dream come true for us to have a permanent home on Bergen Street.”
Beam Center is now open at [47 Bergen St. between Court and Smith streets in Boerum Hill, (347) 470–6747, www.beamcenter.org]. Recession Art will have its grand opening on March 9 at [47 Bergen St. between Court and Smith streets in Boerum Hill, [email protected], www.recessionartshows.com].