From Non-profit galleries pop-up in vacant sites | The Art Newspaper:
Non-profit arts organisations and curators are following their commercial equivalents in New York, with a wave of “pop-up” galleries taking advantage of the recessionary real-estate market to strike up partnerships with realtors to stage free exhibitions.
No Longer Empty, founded by a group of curators, has staged shows in a former fishing tackle store in Chelsea, a downtown luxury condominium, and empty factory on Brooklyn’s Bergen Street in the past few months. The exhibitions have shown artists ranging from grandees such as Yoko Ono to rising stars like Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Michael Bevilacqua. According to Manon Slome, one of the founders, realtors are happy to offer vacant properties for shows which can attract up to 3,000 visitors at openings. “One realtor said to me they couldn’t get as many people through the door with a $5,000 ad as we bring in,” she said.
But property owners already see a variety of incentives to provide space for art programming. In perhaps the highest-profile instance, Trinity Real Estate recently partnered with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) to create LentSpace, an open-air sculpture park on an undeveloped plot downtown. “We wanted to have a temporary use there that would be more interested in a parking lot, and we reached out to the LMCC because they have a history of putting on temporary exhibitions,” says Erin Roeder, Trinity’s director of strategic neighbourhood development. The project is planned to last two years, but could end sooner or later depending on the economy. “The property will of course be more valuable when the market comes back,” she says.
Founded months before the economic crash, the non-profit Smartspaces operates on the “working hypothesis that there is a way to do this that provides value for everyone, because for this to grow on a larger scale and be sustainable through boom and bust times, everybody’s incentives have to be aligned,” says director Ellen Scott. “We found out early on in real estate it’s really about the bottom line.”