Here Comes the Neighborhood: Art Along Sunset Park’s Waterfront

Here Comes the Neighborhood: Art Along Sunset Park’s Waterfront
Arts & Culture
Scott Lachut, PSFK Labs
  • 16 january 2009

New York Magazine points us to Industry City, the aptly named collection of industrial buildings along the waterfront in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, as the next great bastion of the city’s ever-migrating art scene.  With its nearly 6 million square feet of partially vacant space, owing primarily to a downsizing maritime industry, it seemed like a location ripe for potential and in desperate need of new life.  Enter Lise Soskolne, an artist who was employed by the area’s landlord, Industry City Associates, and her vision for what the area could grow to become.

Armed with evidence of past successes – the emergence of neighborhoods like Soho and Dumbo owing to a pioneering group of artists followed by other commercial ventures – Soskolne convinced her bosses to make studio space available.  The resulting 57 spaces were created as part of the Industry City Art Project - 45 incubator studios for emerging artists and 12 market rate studios for established artists – and nearly all have been rented. A fact that points to the growing demand for artists, who have been continually displaced by rising rents, to find affordable spaces to work in.

Still, if this were only about artists, it would be a nice story, but nothing particularly new. This project has loftier goals, of which the artists are only a small part (albeit an integral one), to establish a sustainable district around intelligent redevelopment that considers the needs of residents, workers, artists and businesses. The kind of considerations required to transform not just buildings, but the ideas of community as well. With a number of ongoing public programs already underway, we look forward to enjoying the next phase of this Brooklyn neighborhood.

[via NY Magazine]

+Environmental / Green

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