GREENPOINT — Its storefront showroom opened its doors seven months ago, but the Beginnings Gallery is just now joining forces with many other exhibition spaces within blocks of their Meserole Avenue spot.
"The majority of people coming into our gallery are just passing by and didn't know it existed," said Beginning Gallery co-owner Archie Lee Coates IV, "and they all said there needed to be more galleries around here."
Now, Coates' space and more than a dozen others are showing off just how booming the local art scene is, in a new Greenpoint Gallery Night started by the directors of Calico Gallery and Fowler Arts Collective. The first event in May is meant to kick off a series of such events every few months to highlight both galleries and working artists in the neighborhood, organizers said.
"A scattering of new, small, artist-run exhibit spaces seem to have popped up recently, which is great, in addition to a good number of spaces that have been here for years," said Calico's director, Scott Chasse, who also opened his gallery this fall. "The purpose of Greenpoint Gallery Night is to help bring attention to the vibrant art scene in this part of Brooklyn."
Coates, who said he was drawn to the area specifically for its art scene, explained that the neighborhood has hosted other gallery evenings but that he hoped this would be a more consistent organized event.
"We have 14 exhibition spaces so far that have agreed to be open for the event," he said. "Greenpoint is also home to hundreds of working artists that contribute greatly to the sense of community here in the arts, and it is our hope that they will also benefit from any added recognition the event can bring to the area."
Lia Post, the director of Fowler Arts Collective, said the most important element of the gallery night was to set a precedent for future arts gatherings.
"We decided it would be most helpful to put together an independent website with an informal directory of galleries and arts organizations in the neighborhood so that we could better organize events like Greenpoint Gallery Nights at regular times throughout the year," she said.
"We felt like it was time for us to 'band together,' in a sense, and show our strengths to the greater New York community. I think the most important part of this event (besides it being a smash hit!) is that it will be the first of many more events."
Greenpoint Gallery Night will be held May 10, from 6 9 p.m., and is sponsored by the publications Hyperallergic and Greenpointers. For a detailed list of participating galleries and a map visit the event's website.