Nonprofit Arts in Sunset Park: NARS Foundation
One of the reasons I am so excited about participating in GO as the neighborhood coordinator for Sunset Park is that it gives me an opportunity to get to know my neighborhood of ten years event better, especially focused on art! There’s been a few articles here and there over the past few years about artists moving their studios to Sunset Park’s industrial waterfront, but it’s great to get a chance to actually go see the artists and arts organizations in those buildings.
Earlier this week I met with the staff at the NARS Foundation, which stands for New York Art Residency & Studio Foundation. They are a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting artists and curators on a local and international level. In their own words,
"NARS provides an array of creative support services and professional development opportunities for emerging and mid-career artists through short-term integrated residency programs, affordable long-term studio spaces, progressive exhibition programs, international exchanges, and engaging public programs that foster global understanding and dynamic cross-cultural dialogues. These services operate in conjunction with our community outreach initiatives to promote greater accessibility to contemporary art for the under-served local community in south Brooklyn. Our mission is to present diverse platforms on which to nurture creative inspiration and innovative cross-pollination of ideas."
NARS began in 2006 and began their public and educational programming last year. They currently have 70 studios in their building in Sunset Park and more in another building in Cobble Hill. Program Director Eun Young Choi, pictured above, who is an educator, curator and artist herself, gave me a tour of their Sunset Park building, located on the 3rd floor of 88 35th street.
It’s a fantastic industrial space full of art and includes a gallery and a “parlor room” for displaying art and public programming. She even pointed out the backyard where they hold barbeques and has a great view of the harbor, which she dreams of turning into a community garden. I’m so excited to know more about this neighborhood resource and plan to check out their programming all year long!
Above: The view on 35th street outside the NARS Foundation