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Piece by piece: New Ridge gallery builds on area’s artistic history

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These Ridge artists are going back to their roots.

New gallery Bay Ridge Arts Space opened its doors on Nov. 6 with “New Ovington Village,” an exhibition of 30 Ridge artists that pays tribute to the neighborhood’s history as an artist’s haven and the contemporary creatives who are building up another. The Senator Street gallery is crucial to building that community, said one artist showing in the exhibit.

“We’ve been working really hard to build an artistic community here — there are a lot of artists, but they don’t necessarily know about each other,” said Elena Soterakis, who’s paintings and collages are part of the exhibit. “It’s important that they opened this because now we have a brick-and-mortar space to meet and exhibit.”

The show’s name refers to Ovington Village, an artist colony that formed in Bay Ridge in the mid-19th century and inspired the namesake avenue. At the time, Bay Ridge — then called Yellow Hook for it’s golden shores — was a rural retreat for wealthy city dwellers. Artists came to the area for its natural beauty, affordability, and proximity to the city of Brooklyn, according to historian Matthew Scarpa’s book “Old Bay Ridge and Ovington Village.”

And 160 years later, artists continue to settle in Bay Ridge for much the same reason, said Soterakis, who said the neighborhood’s rich history and “old Brooklyn” charm attracted her to Bay Ridge.

Bay Ridge Art Space will host art classes on weekends for both beginners and experienced artists alongside its exhibits. There are no age limits to the classes, and they’ll provide materials needed. “New Ovington Village” runs from Nov. 6 to Dec. 6.

Bay Ridge Arts Space [509 Senator St. between Fifth and Sixth avenues, www.bayridgeartspace.com, (347) 719–2787].

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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