Independent Curator Runs Tiny Gallery Out of Boerum Hill Thrift Store

By Heather Holland on May 18, 2012 7:44am 

Veronica Mijelshon, independent curator and founder of 0.00156 Acres gallery.
Veronica Mijelshon, independent curator and founder of 0.00156 Acres gallery.
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Dnainfo/Heather Holland

BOERUM HILL — Any space can be a space for art — even if the gallery is the size of a walk-in closet.

A gallery called 0.00156 Acres, which is currently sharing its space at 114 Smith St. with Once Again Thrift Shop, has been hosting exhbitions in its pint-sized space for the past four years.

Curator Veronica Mijelshon carved out around 68 square feet from the thrift store, and a wall was put up to divide the two spaces, with an entrance to the gallery from inside the shop.

"The size of the gallery is definitely a challenge, but in a good way," said Mijelshon. "It's not really a restriction as it is an element to work around. Many artists have told me that it is a good challenge, because it forces them to use their imagination."

The white walls and minimal decor of the gallery are a stark contrast to the look of its neighboring business, which is piled high with vintage housewares and accessories.

When Mijelshon decided to open the gallery about four years ago, she asked the owner of the thrift store, who goes by Zully, if she could use a part of her retail space.

“I thought she’d put me in the back,” said Mijelshon.

The shop owner, however, gave her space in the storefront — though the size barely allows for more than five people.

Mijelshon said she’s been using money out of her pocket in a mission to exhibit artists whose work depicts awareness of political issues.

During the Bush administration, Mijelshon said, she sought a medium to voice her political opinions.

“I felt like there was little I could do to change things. I could go to a march, but then my voice wouldn’t really be heard,” said the Buenos Aires native. “This gallery is my way of contributing. It is my protest.”

Mijelshon is currently working on a new exhibit, although she says she is still in the research phase. She hopes to include more photography this time around.

Her last exhibit, called "Light But Not Light," featured an installation by Peace Please, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting messages of nonviolence. The installation used LED lights to create peace sign images while minimizing electricity usage.

0.00156 Acres gallery sits inside a thrift store space on Smith Street in Boerum Hill.
0.00156 Acres gallery sits inside a thrift store space on Smith Street in Boerum Hill.
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0.00156 Acres

For more information about the gallery, visit www.acresbrooklyn.com.

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