Here’s a story from Ithaca, NY similar to one that that keeps popping up in the US and UK where local merchants defend their downtowns from the ravages of the recession by turning storefronts into temporary art galleries. There’s no indication that the art is selling but the spontaneous growth of this alternative suggests art has gained a new foothold in the public consciousness.
Thanks to a collaboration among the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, a curatorial organization called the Working Relationship, the Ithaca Renting Company and other landlords, vacant storefronts on the Commons have been transformed into temporary gallery spaces showcasing regional and national contemporary artists.
Organized and curated by an art appreciation club called The Working Relationship, “to Let” enables landlords to donate the use of their vacant retail space to artists, who then place their work in the windows. Once the spaces are rented, the art is removed. “Our goal is to have as few vacancies as possible,” Gary Ferguson, executive director of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, said. “By bringing art exhibits into windows and storefronts, we are hoping to bring attention to them. In addition to showcasing contemporary art, this project will hopefully help us in occupying some of these spaces.”
Vacant Storefronts Help Showcase Works of Art (IthacaJournal.com)