Greenpoint Gazette
Julia Whitney Barnes "Bricks & Stones", previous artwork from a Arts@Renaissance show. Photo Credit: St. Nick's Alliance

Local Arts Champion Set to Reassert Itself with Massive Exhibition

BY Tanay Warerkar

More than 100 local artists will see their works on display when Arts@Renaissance (A@R) re-launches with NYC Salon Showcase, at Grand Street’s Old Gem, next Friday.

From its 2010 inception until late last year, the St. Nicks Alliance organized Arts@Renaissance operated out of St. Nicks’ headquarters at 2 Kingsland Avenue. But with overhead costs climbing, the organization recognized it could no longer support the program at that location.

Following months of work with local elected officials to find an alternate space and funding for the program, NYC Salon Showcase will mark the return of A@R’s studio residency, and the return of vibrant arts opportunities offered by St. Nicks to local artists.

Last July, the City Council, led by Councilmember Antonio Reynoso, along with the Offices of the Mayor and Brooklyn Borough President helped the organization obtain over $600,000 in capital funds through the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs.

Those funds are now being used by St. Nicks to construct the Arts@Renaissance Center at 601 Metropolitan Avenue, which is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2016.

In the meantime, the program will operate at the abandoned space left vacant by the closing of GEM store at 695 Grand Street, where it will host exhibitions and activities until its new space is ready early next year.

“We want this event to be a way to reach out as many artists as possible in the neighborhood,” said Monica Carrier who runs the Arts@Renaissance program for St. Nicks Alliance. “It’s a way for us to reintroduce the program and a way for people to get acquainted with the artistic community. It just shows what a strong need there is for spaces like this.”

Arts@Renaissance was created to support upcoming and established artists and to encourage interaction between the neighborhood’s longstanding middle- and lower-income residents and its more recently arrived artists community.

The program works across multiple disciplines and allows site-specific projects, like transforming local senior centers or gardens. It also offers artist residencies and a senior arts workshop series.

Since its launch, 15 artists have completed three-month residencies and it has served over 100 senior citizens in North Brooklyn.

NYC Salon Showcase: A Weekend at the Old Gem Presented by Arts@Renaissance, 695 Grand Street, Opening Reception, Fri, February 27, 7-10 p.m., Gallery Hours Sat. February 28 & Sun March 1, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., for more information visit http://www.renaissancenbk.org/
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