:"This article is about the art gallery in New Haven, Connecticut. For other uses, see Artspace (disambiguation)."

Artspace is a non-profit contemporary art gallery located in downtown New Haven, in Connecticut.


Artspace was conceived as early as 1984, by a group of New Haven-based visual and performing artists in response to the elimination of a promised gallery space dedicated to local artists in the Shubert, a prominent local theater. Convinced that local visual art and performance needed an alternative showcase, they created Artspace with a mission to nurture and preserve the arts-- focusing especially on artists and audiences in the Greater New Haven area. The name Artspace originally described the permanent space and black box reserved for local artists and performers that was promised but never delivered by the Shubert. In its next incarnation without a permanent home, the name became an umbrella for a variety of projects. Its founders loved the irony of using the name "Artspace" while operating without a space, appropriating found spaces as "art spaces," including: factory buildings (former manufacturers of tires, rifles, corsets, cash registers, and Erector Sets), public libraries, public schools, public greenways, city buses, and old malls and storefronts.

Starting in 1987, it operated a lively exhibition and performance space in a new facility which it purchased and helped build at 70 Audubon Street, in the emerging Audubon arts district of downtown. More than 120 major exhibitions-- many addressing social issues relevant to New Haven's urban community-- were organized. Programs also included an annual small theater festival, monthly showcases of musicians, poets, and performance artists, and a jazz series, which evolved into the region's first jazz non-profit organization, JazzHaven. The Summer Arts for Youth (SAY!) Mentoring Program for inner city youth paired local artists with high school students for a summer apprenticeship and exhibition. In 1998, the Artspace Board determined that the organization could more effectively reach the constituency it was intended to serve if relieved of the substantial costs of carrying prime New Haven real estate. The Board approved a plan to restore the financial stability of the organization and voted to sell the gallery and performance space to the Educational Center for the Arts. Until 2002, Artspace was again without a home. Now, it is back in a gallery space under a city subsidy.

In 2001, Artspace entered into a collaborative arrangement with the City of New Haven and jointly redeveloped a civil-war era furniture factory located in a historic but overlooked area of downtown. With the support of CT’s Department of Economic Development, the New Haven Development Commission, and the City’s Planning Commission, Artspace oversaw the renovation and creation of a flexible exhibition facility which includes areas for group exhibitions, experimental solo space, window installations, as well as an area for an artist in residence and Artspace’s offices. The space, Artspace’s Center for Contemporary Art (“Artspace”) opened in April 2002, drawing both crowds and interest, and serving as an effective good-will ambassador for downtown New Haven. In 2004, Artspace also entered into a lease and agreement to develop the Lot, an outdoor space one block from its gallery, as a site for temporary public sculpture.

Artspace presents 5 thematic group exhibitions/year in its Untitled (Space) gallery, 5 solo exhibitions/year in the Project Room, and 6 exhibitions/year of selections from the Flatfile, a semi-permanent collection of 300 works-on-paper by area artists chosen from a bi-annual open call. The Lot installation rotates twice a year. In addition, Artspace runs a lively education program aimed at public schools students from New Haven, encompassing a Teen Docent Program, a hands-on summer apprenticeship for 15 students to collaborate on a new work with a visiting artist, and vacation period printmaking and photography workshops. These programs are all offered at no charge to students. Each year, Artspace also presents City-Wide Open Studios, a month long festival. Artists open their studios, and Artspace activates empty buildings as sites for temporary installations. A central exhibition at Artspace is mounted with one representative work by every artist.

City-Wide Open Studios

New Haven's City-Wide Open Studios is a 20-day celebration of contemporary art in all its myriad forms, and is undoubtedly Connecticut's leading visual arts festival. Over the past nine years, art dealers and curators from the region have used CWOS as a resource to discover new artists, plan upcoming shows, and buy art. One of the largest Open Studios programs in the country, CWOS unites hundreds of local artists with the Greater New Haven community.

New Haven hosts the only Open Studios program in the country offering alternative studio space for artists to display their art. Artists without access to a studio and artists from elsewhere in Connecticut show their work in alternative art places - vacant historic properties that Artspace adapts into exhibition spaces, aiding in their redevelopment. Past spaces have included the Olin Metals Research Laboratory and the Pirelli Building. Through the alternative space project, CWOS connects artists and the public with different neighborhoods of New Haven every year. The site for 2006's CWOS was the former Hamden Middle School, at 550 Newhall St, where New Haven meets Hamden.

Teen Docent Program

Artspace's education program is built around three teen initiatives:

- An intensive summer apprenticeship program in which a master artist works with 12-15 students from city public high schools to create new work around a particular topic or methodology;

- Four in-school residencies in which emerging artists collaborate with 4 groups of 15 high school students from ACES/ECA arts magnet school to make prints;

- A year-round after-school photography program, based on the award-winning Literacy Through Photography (LTP) Program. Artspace will launch the program in Fall 2002 with the help of LTP founder Wendy Ewald, and in partnership with Leadership, Education, Athletics in Partnership (LEAP).

Each initiative culminates in a month-long public exhibition, and is complemented by related gallery talks, poetry readings, and award receptions. In addition, teens receive annotated portfolios of their work to use for school and job applications.

Hours and admission

Admission is free

Normal Gallery Hours Tues 11am-6pmWed-Sat 11am-8pm

Summer Hours / July and AugustTues-Wed 11am-6pmTh-Fr 11am-8pmSat 2-8pm

First ArtSpace Members: Destiny Palmer, Samantha, Corey O'Bryon, Yajaira, Mary, Director: Leslie Hewitt etc.

External links

* [ Official Site of Artspace]
* [ Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism]
* [ Galleries at INFONewHaven]
* [ City-Wide Open Studios 2006]

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