The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council is opening a 40,000-square-foot space on Governors Island in New York, with plans for the newly outfitted LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island to begin operations in September. The space in a renovated 1870s-era warehouse and military office space will host exhibitions, public programs, and residencies. Its inaugural season will focus on ecology, sustainability, and notions of resilience, with shows featuring work by artists including Yto Barrada and Michael Wang. Admission for the Arts Center will be free to visitors of the island, which is reachable by boat from Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Barrada’s large-scale installation at the Arts Center will include sculpture, collage, hand-dyed textiles, video, and other objects, with curation by Omar Berrada. The work will examine environmental threats to the island of Tangier in Chesapeake Bay, Governors Island’s military past, and the colonial history of Tangier, Morocco.
Extinct in New York, Wang’s site-specific and site-responsive project, will explore native plant species that have been wiped out as a result of climate change and urbanization. In a presentation co-produced with the Swiss Institute, plants that no longer grow in New York will be exhibited in greenhouses.
The first group of artists-in-residence will create and present work at the Arts Center at Governors Island through the end of the year. The center will provide participating artists with studio and exhibition space, with open studios and other public events organized around the program. In future years, the center plans to offer two residency programs annually.
The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council teamed with the Trust for Governors Island to create the Arts Center, with funding in part from the Affordable Real Estate for Artists initiative organized by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and other city government agencies.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement, “We are unlocking the potential of Governors Island by investing in arts, culture, and education. The public programing and free workspaces at LMCC’s Arts Center will provide an affordable place for artists to work while continuing to grow Governors Island as a creative hub for New Yorkers from across the five boroughs.”
Tom Finkelpearl, commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs, said, “The arts have been integral to transforming Governors Island from a former military installation into a beloved destination for New Yorkers and visitors alike.”
The list of LMCC Arts Center at Governors Island 2019 artists-in-residence follows below.
Maya Kaminishi Jeffereis
Sam Van Aken