UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — A nonprofit that turns under-utilized real estate into spaces where artists can create and present their artworks opened a new studio on Monday that will feature the work of immigrant artists for its debut exhibit, the nonprofit and local elected officials announced.
The organization Chashama renovated an empty space in the St. Tropez condo complex on East 64th Street near First Avenue into an art gallery following the building's donation of the space. City Councilman Ben Kallos, the nonprofit and artists celebrated the opening of the space Monday with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
"To me, art is simple, it is filling a space with something beautiful. And that is exactly what ChaShama has once again managed to do here; display great artwork for people to see," Kallos said in a statement.
Kallos supported the renovation and will help fund free public art classes at the gallery through a Cultural Immigrant Initiative grant, according to a press release.
Chashama's first exhibits at its new gallery will spotlight immigrant artists. Ecuadorian artist Francisco Donoso and Mexican artists Maria De Los Angeles, both DACA recipients, will present their "Esperanza de Otro Mundo Posible/Hope of Another Possible World" and artists John Rivas and Raelis Vasquez will exhibit their multidisciplinary show "Stories of our Ancestors." Both exhibits focus on the themes of immigrant and otherness and hope to spark a dialogue on the important issues.
"We're thrilled to present the works of these diverse artists," Chashama Founder and Artistic Director Anita Durst said in a statement. "This gallery is a beautiful example of what happens when we elevate and celebrate the art of the immigrants who live in our city."