Address: 56 Bogart Street Brooklyn NY, 11206
Contact: Rachel Steinberg, Gallery Director
Phone: (718) 366-3661
Open Hours: Thursday – Sunday, 12-6pm
How is the project operated?
Artist-run + non-profit.
How long has it been in existence?
Founded in 1973.
What was your motivation?
SOHO20 was founded by a group of 20 women artists in New York City, intent on achieving professional excellence in an industry sorely lacking in opportunities for women.
How are programs funded?
Membership dues, fundraising events, individual donations, grants, and in-kind sponsorship.
Who is responsible for the programming?
The Gallery Director and staff are also responsible for the creation and implementation of the programming, but as an artist-run space, the Artist members ultimately make the decisions regarding programming.
Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year.
SOHO20 typically presents between one and three exhibitions and projects at a time, which run between 4-6 weeks each, amounting to 15-20 exhibitions every year. The amount of events fluctuates year to year; in 2016, SOHO20 presented twenty-three events, not including opening receptions.
What kind of events are usually organized?
SOHO20 presents a range of events throughout the year including panel/roundtable discussions, artist talks, performances, readings, workshops, screenings, and opening receptions.
How is your programming determined?
Depending on the program, it is either curated/organized in house by our Gallery Director and/or artist members, or through open calls, which is judged by a panel of artist members, staff, and outside critics.
Do you accept proposals/submissions?
Yes, we accept applications on a rolling basis for artist membership to the gallery, and once per year we open up a call for proposals for projects in our +/- Project Space, and our summer Residency Lab.
What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
Applicants to SOHO20’s membership are selected by the gallery’s artist members based on the strength of their work, commitment to their studio practice, and the desire to be a part of our vibrant community. Since SOHO20 does not generate profit from the sale of artwork, the gallery does not aim to influence the direction of its artists’ work and instead allows them the flexibility to experiment and explore new directions with curatorial guidance from our Director. Applicants to open calls for the +/- Project Space and summer residency program are selected by a jury panel composed of SOHO20 members, Director, and invited guest jurors (past jurors have included notable art writers, curators and artists from the previous year’s programs). Artists are selected based on the strength of past work in addition to project proposals that exhibit critical thinking, the potential for community outreach through related programming, and dynamic use of exhibition space.
What’s working? What’s not working?
As a non-profit art space, SOHO20 can have a wide scope of exhibitions and events that take place every month. And since we primarily survive on artists’ contributions, we are free from corporate censorship. That said, we do struggle with the membership model, which worked very well at the time the gallery was founded and was also quite necessary back then. Today, we find that this structure can be limiting in our capacity to show the work of marginalized artists. We aim to be more inclusive and broaden SOHO20’s community by allotting more time and space for curated exhibits, programs and events that are open to artists outside of the scope of gallery membership.
What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
SOHO20 aims to be a hub of art and activism, while retaining rigorous standards for the quality and type of work that we present. We want artists, other collectives, and organizations who share our vision of feminism and inclusivity – in the art world and beyond, to participate in and host events, discussions, actions, and more. All of SOHO20’s events are free and open to the public.
What idea are you most excited about for the future?
We look forward to continuing to connect and collaborate with artists, other collectives, and organizations. We are always looking to broaden the scope of SOHO20’s community in response to the needs of artists and curators.
Images courtesy of SOHO20.