Headlines: Expanding Museums and Shrinking Studio Space
1) LGBTQ Museum Doubles in Size
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the first art museum in the United States completely devoted to art by LGBTQ artists, happily announced on September 16th that it would be expanding to nearly double its current size. The museum currently occupies roughly 3300 square feet in SoHo, New York, and has ambitions of expanding even further over the next decade.
2) Portals Allows Visitors to Travel Across the World for 20 Minutes
Art duo Shared_Studios most recent project, Portals, has been travelling around the world since its launch in 2014 – most recently a Portal was installed on campus at the University of Maryland. Each Portal is a shipping container equipped with video and audio feeds. Guests step inside the container, and have a 20 minute, live, translated conversation with a person in Mexico, Honduras, Cuba, Iran, Afghanistan and other destinations. While interesting, some critics have noted that the nature of the spaces where the Portals are installed (universities and art galleries in well-off, liberal cities) means that the experience is biased toward a liberal, wealthy point of view.
3) Street Art Museum Opens in Saint Petersburg
St. Petersburg, Russia, has become home to a museum for street art – giving a permanent home to artworks that would be otherwise temporary. The museum is based in a working factory far outside the tourist centre of the city. Here, street artists actively create large, expansive works ranging from wall murals to more experimental works with found objects and sculptural elements. Outside the factory, a large space is open for the creation of works that will be temporary. The museum was originally the idea of factory owner Dmitry Zaitsev, who wanted to make the factory a more appealing place for its workers.
4) German Group Wants Abandoned Buildings to be Repurposed into Studio Space
It seems that the rising cost of renting out a studio space isn’t only affecting North American artists. A recent protest in Berlin highlighted the rising problem of gentrification and high studio costs causing artists to be evicted in a city that is frequently stereotypes as a utopic haven for starving artists. The social justice group the Alliance of Endangered Studio Spaces, or AbBa, rallied on September 16th to encourage the Berlin Senate to open up the city’s abandoned spaces for arts and cultural use.
5) Museum of Telephony Consumed by Forest Fires
Finally, on a slightly somber note, California wildfires have destroyed the JKL Museum of Telehpony, a small space devoted to preserving the history of the telephone. The museum housed a large collection of telephones and related items dating back to the 1880s. They are currently accepting donations through PayPal to help with restoration efforts.