Alison Owen is a Greenpoint-based artist and art teacher whose work is committed to no set medium, but rather to the notion of “responsible consumption.” Her multimedia pieces are highly interactive with their environments, using the neglected materials of an art gallery space to demonstrate how what is no longer valued can be transformed into something beautiful. Alison scavenges for defunct installation tools, old hardware, scraps of forgotten artworks—and even collected dust—to create her innovative and conceptual exhibitions.
In recent years, Alison has masterfully picked up ceramics, which unlike her installations requires a more defined use of media and more prescriptive processes. In addition to her residency at the Wave Hill Estate in the Bronx, she will also be having a spring exhibition at Greenpoint Hill (100 Freeman St.) right in our neighborhood that kicks off on March 30. In the meantime, preview Alison’s diverse works on her website.
GP: How will your upcoming show at Greenpoint Hill be different than past shows you’ve had, and how will it be similar?
Alison: I tend to work site-specifically, responding to the architecture, the history, or the current use of the spaces where I show. I gather up materials from the site or from people connected to the site, and use those in the space. At this point, I have a large collection of materials that have been donated or scavenged from other artists over the years, and I have been using these materials to make collages and paintings and small sculptures that I’ll show at Greenpoint Hill. This will be less of a site-specific installation and more a show of individual works, which is kind of new for me. Continue reading →
Greenpoint Hill presents their second exhibition, later, works by Isaac Arvold, which opens tonight! We interviewed Greenpoint Hill’s Kim Brown when she first opened the gallery and retail shop on Freeman Street, and for this week’s Thursday Spotlight we’re showcasing Isaac Arvold, whose exhibited works are the harvest of a month-long artist’s retreat on a rather secluded beach in Costa Rica.
“I wanted to get away, be alone, and just make art,” says Isaac Arvold. “I think I was getting distracted in New York at the time and I wasn’t owning my craft. In my luggage I packed 2 pairs of shorts, 2 tops, sandals, a significant amount of ink accompanied by paper. Lots of paper. My favorite paper. 1,400 sheets of paper. I made my little beach office cabana out of drift wood and various fallen palm fronds. I would strip my bed sheets from my bed bring them to the beach with me and tie the corners to upright sticks which would give me sweet beautiful shade during the day.”
Sometimes working his Brooklyn studio, Arvold will feel the pressure of not having enough time to work on something or not be able to resume right away the next day. That was not an issue on the beach in Costa Rica.
Launching Greenpoint Hill feels like kismet for Kim Brown. Previously a studio and storage annex for Pentatonic Guitars, the space is now renovated and feels cozy and warm with brick walls painted white and light, wooden shelves. She’d had her eye on the space at 100 Freeman Street for a while and the time has come to open as an art gallery and retail shop.
For the opening, the inventory is very ceramic heavy, which is where Brown’s sensibilities are now, but she’s open to housing other types of sculpture and handmade objects as well. She’s in discussion with wood workers and hoping to get a few furniture pieces.
Brown aims to curate a collection for people who just appreciate art or jewelry or the functional work to use in their everyday lives, rather than collectors.
“I’m really honored to have all the participating artists,” says Brown. “I’m feeling optimistic about the space, thinking it’ll be fun!”
Brown also plans to host events and workshops and is currently exhibiting a a series of gouache paintings by Libby VanderPloeg titled “Ladies Who Lead”. The exhibition opening reception is tonight, Thursday, Oct 20th, 7-10pm.
Featuring portraits of inspirational women paired with quotes, the series is part one of two, and opens tonight, supporting Brown’s mission for Greenpoint Hill, which is to act as a “place where people can buy art, rather than a fixed exhibition space.”
Brown and I agreed: the paintings would make great holiday gifts.