Flower Shop Collective, a Greenpoint art and fabrication studio, is offering artists typically underrepresented in the mainstream art scene a place to learn, create, and find community in North Brooklyn.
While Flower Shop Collective started as a concept three years ago, it existed exclusively in the digital space until last October when co-founder Nadia Tahoun secured a studio space on Morgan Ave.
“We basically act like a hub for artists of color, immigrant artists, and woman artists to come in here and make their personal work, but also learn different practices from other artists that are in different mediums in our space,” Tahoun said.
Though making the shift from digital to in-person can be risky during a pandemic, Tahoun is hoping the space can serve as an incubator for artists to safely work together and make connections. Flower Shop Collective grew out of Tahoun’s own experience working with artist Daniel Arsham, and she strives to help artists connect and flourish outside of the digital realm.
“I saw a need for us to be able to meet up and for us to create our own work because a lot of times when you work as an art worker and as an art laborer, you’re doing a lot of physically exhausting work and you can’t really come home after a long day of sculpting for somebody and then make your own work,” she explained. “I wanted to create incentives where people can come in and ideate with other people and slowly get into making their own practices.”
The collective — which is always actively looking for new artists of all mediums to apply — features a large focus on making art more equitable and profitable for emerging and mid-career artists experiencing a loss of capital during the pandemic.
“With the understanding that getting an art studio in the first place is really hard and you need to come from a place of privilege to do that, we decided to open our doors and be on a sliding scale for artists of color to come and work from our space,” Tahoun said of their business model. “There’s a huge loss in not being able to gather people physically; I think digital shows are not as impactful as seeing pieces in real life. I also think it’s harder to sell things online because people are so overstimulated anyway. There’s so much to be gained when you walk into a space that’s made to consume whatever it is you’re about to experience.”
Other studio offerings include one-to-one mentorship, curation consulting services, and portfolio reviews, as well as opportunities for fruitful, in-person conversations about colonialism and Indigenous art.
In terms of what’s on the horizon, Tahoun is looking forward to more events in the future — both outdoors in McGolrick Park and in the studio space once it’s safe to do so — and would love to work with performance artists and more traditional sculptors.