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Street Art, Fish-Share Converge at Red Hook Real Estate Office

By Alan Neuhauser | October 11, 2012 9:26am

RED HOOK — Street art has found a temporary home at a gallery that shares space with a real estate office in Red Hook.

Gallery Brooklyn, which occupies a storefront on Van Brunt Street with Brooklyn-based Realty Collective, is exhibiting "Geometricks" through Oct. 28. The show was curated by a Brooklyn graffiti- and street-artist who goes by the name "Hellbent," and it features works by 11 artists from New York and across the country.

"It's very friendly, because if you are walking in Bushwick, you can see the work of some of these artists," said Pauline Iedra, who works at the gallery.

And next month, the office will be branching-out from the arts world, joining forces with the Mermaid's Garden Community Supported Fishery to distribute fish on Saturdays to those who signed up for the group's Fish Share. The fish were given out at Added Value Farm in Red Hook this summer, but Realty Collective is taking over when the farm closes for the winter.

Realty Collective owner Victoria Hagman described the Fish Share as simply another neighborhood partnership and a way to draw residents to the realty office.

"It'll be better to draw people in the space," she said, "so they can see the art and see whatever else is going on."

The gallery and realty office opened at 351 Van Brunt St. in May, in a space formerly occupied by Everbrite Mercantile, which sold quirky art, clothing accessories and other odds-and-ends until it went out of business in January.

"I really wanted to do a shared space," recounted Hagman.

"You want to create foot traffic in that neighborhood for people to come down there and to look at things when they come to Red Hook. That's what makes a successful downtown area. I thought it was really important to be adding to the neighborhood instead of just branding myself there, that there needed to be some neighborhood component of business being there."

The Van Brunt space is one of three Realty Collective offices in Red Hook and Carroll Gardens, all of which feature works by local artists or old maps and charts of the neighborhood. Most of the firm's 12 agents are also involved in the arts, Hagman said, from sculpting and producing theater to DJ'ing.

"I think it's really important to support the things that you're passionate about, and we're passionate about creating things," said Hagman, who herself majored in art history at Pace University and received a master's degree in historic preservation.