Local collaborative, ArtCondo, is asking the public to donate money through an online Kickstarter campaign to create a community gallery space in Melrose.
As New York City becomes tougher for local artists, this grassroots effort has sprouted up to challenge affordability and gentrification happening all around the metropolis by allowing artist to own their studio space.
Michele Gambetta, co-founder of ArtCondo, who shares a background of art and real estate has set out with a team of fellow creatives to develop an affordable live/work space from the ground up.
“The whole project, itself, is to help creative people in NYC stay in NYC through ownership,” Gambetta said. “It is a company, but basically we’re a loose collective, in that we’re working together for this aim of trying to create new opportunities for people to own.”
In 2017, Gambetta along with 15 artists/investors purchased a 6,400 square foot vacant lot in Melrose with the hopes of building a space that will not only help artists escape the troubles of rising rents and unruly landlords, but would give back to the neighborhood.
“The gallery is meant to be for the community,” Gambetta said. “We’re not just parachuting into the neighborhood, that’s not we want, we want to give back in some way because we’re all very sensitive to the concept of gentrification.”
With the land purchased and prospective groundbreaking date for construction set for March 2020, Gambetta is moving onto her venture for the art collaborative.
As of Saturday, November 7, ArtCondo has started a 30-day Kickstarter campaign with a $50,000 goal to fund an open gallery on the first floor of the prospective building. The campaign has received approximately $5,500 dollars as of Wednesday, November 18.
“We’re trying to put a community gallery space on the ground floor of the building and we want to give some local Bronx non-profit access to it, free access to it, for a certain amount of time, depending on how much money we raise,” Gambetta said. “We’re hoping to kind of leverage ‘oh we’re doing something great for artists, but this is also for the community too.’”
BY KYLEFor more information on ArtCondo, future meetings, and the link to the Kickstarter campaign, visit www.artco