Paint the town: FiveMyles art gallery celebrates 20th anniversary

Paint the town: FiveMyles art gallery celebrates 20th anniversary
Photo by Aidan Graham

This art space is hitting a Myles-stone!

A Crown Heights gallery known for hosting both established and up-and-coming artists is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a lavish display of work from some of the best creators to grace its walls over the years. FiveMyles gallery is currently showing off 82 paintings, sculptures, and interactive installations, all of which will be raffled off to guests at the end of its fund-raising birthday bash on May 19, said the gallery’s director.

“We have 82 pieces of art, from artists who have shown here in one way or another,” said Hanne Tierney. “Your name is pulled out of a hat, and when your name is called, you choose your favorite piece from the art that’s left, and it’s yours.”

The anniversary spectacle will help fund the gallery’s mission of bringing the art world to Kings County, said Tierney.

“We have about five or six full exhibitions per year, and we have performances going on in between showings, when the gallery is empty,” she said. “That’s been one of the most useful things, because people often have a hard time getting their work out.”

Artists hoping to get eyeballs on their work can appeal to Tierney and her artistic advisory committee, who are open to creatives at any stage of their career.

“Artists come in and show us their work. If it’s interesting, we’ll show it,” said Tierney.

The gallery has two showrooms — a main space, and the PlusRoom — a small, former garage that was designed as a locale for lesser-known artists, but has become a favorite of those seeking a more intimate setting.

Home sweet gnome: FiveMyles gallery will raffle off 82 works of art at its May 19 anniversary benefit, including this resin sculpture of a garden gnome by Sam Tufnell.
Photo by Aidan Graham

“The small space started out as space for emerging artists, but it turns out that it has a quiet magic to it,” she said. “Very established artists want to do things in the space, and it’s often breathtaking because it small, and it totally involves you.”

Tierney takes pride in using her space to feature artists who might not get a chance elsewhere, such as John Valembrun, who displayed his abstract drawings in the gallery last December.

“He makes the strangest and most peculiar drawings,” said Tierney. “It’s always a pleasure when you can do things like that. He was completely self-taught, and he had never even thought about a career in the art world, but we were able to give him a platform and put his work out to the public.”

After the 20th anniversary celebration closes, FiveMyles will feature an exhibition of moving sculptures made from re-purposed street litter by artist George Simonds, opening on May 30.

“He was getting a B.A. from Purchase, and his art professor brought him to the gallery two years ago,” said Tierney. “He reached out to us, because he knew exactly what he wanted to do, so we’re really excited to feature that.”

Tierney said the gallery is able to feature artists of limited fame like Simonds, because its non-profit nature eliminates the monetary incentive to focus on big names.

“We’re not obliged to sell work, so we have a lot of freedom,” she said.

“FiveMyles 20th Anniversary Benefit” at FiveMyles Gallery [558 St. Johns Place between Classon and Franklin avenues in Crown Heights, (718) 783-4438, www.fivemyles.org]. May 19 at 4 p.m. $250. Art on display May 16–18; 1–6 p.m.

Life-size: FiveMyles director Hanne Tierney will treat guests to a puppet show at the gallery’s 20th anniversary benefit on May 19.
Photo by Aidan Graham

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agrah[email protected]hnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at twitter.com/aidangraham95.

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