BUSHWICK — When Jason Andrew first opened a gallery in his Bushwick apartment, he sought to fill a need for artists to share their work in the neighborhood.
Now, seven years later, show spaces abound and the area is a creative hotbed, so Andrew's next project pushes the envelope even further: It strives to connect local artists with museums and collectors worldwide.
Andrew and two other well-connected curators are joining forces to recreate Bushwick's OUTLET Fine Art gallery into a powerful jumping-off point for the neighborhood's creatives to launch out into the global art scene.
By collaborating and pooling their contacts, Andrew, Julian Jimarez Howard (who currently runs OUTLET) and John Silvis plan to help Bushwick artists place work around the country and the world.
"OUTLET is going to be the new nexus that will catapult our artists into museums, major collections, and the larger art world conversation," said Andrew, who has already curated exhibits in Singapore and on the West Coast with Bushwick artists. "Through this curatorial collaboration we hope to build upon what each of us has done individually and push the boundaries of...the neighborhood."
Andrew also co-founded the successful local gallery Storefront, manages the estate of artist Jack Tworkov and started Bushwick's monthly Beat Night open galleries evening. Howard founded OUTLET and Silvis recently curated a show with Bushwick artists in Vienna.
"For artists, their success in the art world isn't build upon what they know, but who they know," Andrew said. "It's our goal to put our artists in direct line with these people of influence — curators and collectors — to create more opportunity and potential for their careers."
While some neighboring galleries may already seek to create such opportunities, artist Cooper Holoweski said there was a "disconnect between [art] buyers and the hotbed of culture" of Bushwick.
"Buyers still look to Midtown [for new work]...It's a bit of a stretch to get them to come to Bushwick," said Holoweski. "Jason has really shown himself to be an advocate for Bushwick and he has connections in the city and nationally...Jason's one of the people who can make this happen."
And Howard, who is both a curator and an artist, said the whole physical renovation of OUTLET also helped it to stand out among local galleries and to create a "new vision" for the space.
"It is our desire to exceed the boundaries, both physical and psychological surrounding the neighborhood and artistic practice," Howard said.
The first show at OUTLET's new space, at 253 Wilson Ave., opens Thursday with work from Holoweski and other local artists. The opening is from 6 to 10 p.m.