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Bushwick Benefit Art Show to Fund Video Archive of Artist Presentations

By Dana Varinsky | April 30, 2014 6:53pm
 A show of artwork by more than 35 Bushwick artists will raise money for a video library of artist presentations.
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BUSHWICK — Local artists have organized a benefit art show to fund the creation of an online video archive of their presentations.   

Proceeds from the show, called #mutualbenefit, will fund the Bushwick Art Crit Group, a collection of artists that gather once a month to hear members present their work and respond to questions from peers. Christopher Stout, the group’s founder, is hoping to raise enough money to begin filming the presentations, so the group can create a video library of the artists describing their work.

“It’s much more interesting to actually see the artist talking and moving and discussing what the work means,” said Stout, explaining that he imagines the videos could be useful for artists, gallery owners, museum curators or anyone curious about the Bushwick art scene.

Stout added that although Bushwick has already gained a reputation for its arts community, the video archive would bring exposure to the neighborhood’s emerging artists.

“We’re looking to get the word out to the art elite about the artists who are involved in the Bushwick Art Crit Group,” he said, though he noted the archive would also be useful for those outside of New York who want to learn about Bushwick artists.

To fund the project, Stout organized the one-night benefit show, which will be held at the Brooklyn Fire Proof Art Gallery, at 119 Ingraham St. from 7 to 9:30 Thursday evening.

Work from more than 35 artists in the group will be on display, with each artist contributing between one and five pieces. The work will be mostly priced at less than $700, and the proceeds will be split 50-50, with the artists taking home half the money. The rest will fund video production, equipment, software and server storage for the digital library. 

Richard Berardino, a painter with two pieces in the show, said he is participating because he believes the video archive could be a valuable resource to document the evolution of New York’s art world.

“The art scene shifting over to Brooklyn, and specifically Bushwick, is something that, going down the line in art history, would be a pretty major shift in New York,” he said. “So I think it’s something exciting to have, to be a part of, to have at your disposal as an archive.”

Berardino added that he likes how inclusive the show will be, since the artists involved in the Crit Group have a wide variety of styles.

“It’s kind of a free-for-all in a sense,” he said of the group. “If you’re doing something and you’re excited about it and you have the guts to show it to us, then go for it.”

Wendy Klemperer, who plans to show a sculpture and two drawings in the show, said she would use the video library to catch up on presentations she was unable to attend, and to re-watch presentations she found interesting.

“Even if I was there for the crit, to review what was seen again and look at people’s websites afterwards, and follow up if somebody’s work was particularly interesting, would be nice,” she said. “It just adds such a dimension to looking at work if you can hear the artist's perspective on that work.”

The Bushwick Art Crit group is a supported project of Fractured Atlas, a national art services non-profit, so those who wish to support to the video library project can also donate through the Fractured Atlas website.