Firehouse becomes art gallery for a night

Firehouse becomes art gallery for a night
Community Newspaper Group / Aaron Short

The former home of Williamsburg Engine 212 will become the future home of a neighborhood community center — but for one day next week it will be an art gallery.

On Aug. 6, the defunct Wythe Avenue fire station will be transformed into a temporary exhibition space for a show, “LIVING with Other People” featuring some of Williamsburg’s most exciting artists.

The project is the brainchild of People’s Firehouse and Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, which chose to invite artists to create installations in the fallow space this summer to create more awareness for the site.

Both groups are in the midst of a $1.9-million fundraising campaign to revamp the space into a three-story community center, called the Northside Town Hall, for Williamsburg residents. About $200,000 has been raised, and public officials have committed an additional $350,000 to the cause.

Neighbors Allied for Good Growth board member Jackie Moynihan believes the art installations will bring a new audience into the space while exposing them to the neighborhood’s history of activism.

“It is intriguing to a lot of artists to put their work in a very site-specific, abandoned space that is just opening up the door,” said Moynihan. “It’s almost like a public installation.”

The mixed-media portraiture exhibition features a 10-foot public mural, the work of Michael Alan, whose live drawing series has grasped the neighborhood’s imagination for several years, and the work of Johan Kritzinger, Band Antenna, Bariette Bergh, El Celco, Ian Couch, Eugenia Yu, Jesse Walker, and several others.

The future home of the Northside Town Hall Community Center will host a temporary art installation to help transform the defunct firehouse.
Community Newspaper Group / Aaron Short

“LIVING with Other People” at Engine 212 (136 Wythe Ave. at N. Ninth Street in Williamsburg), Aug 6, 7-10 pm. For info, visit nthccc.org.