It should be noted that this has been a success in other cities like Pittsfield and Northampton, Massachusets. Below is a photo from an empty storefront in downtown Berkley, California that is showcasing artwork in a former shoe store.
This is even happening across the river in nearby Beacon at their 2009 Windows on Main Street event. So far this will be it’s fifth year running. It will run from August 8-September 12, 2009 this year. I know that a gallery in Beacon is interested in bringing the same thing to Newburgh.
Charleston, SC also has it’s share of empty storefronts. But they have the WALK Gallery (Window Art Local Knowledge). Their mission is to “to expand on the existing dialogue of community art.” The gallery is “capitalizing on shifting the current economic paradigm by enlivening empty spaces to showcase our culture’s commodities by filling these spaces and bringing attention to our most creative class — visual artists.” They are trying to create a neighborhood “where empty becomes full and “vacant” no longer has a negative connotation.”
So the question is how can something like this be brought to Newburgh? Well all communities seem to have a common thread in common-they are all well organized groups with missions and have a specific plan outlined. Floor One, a gallery in nearby Beacon has expressed interest in organizing such a project. If there are any local artists or more specifically-landlords that would be interested in such a task please contact them 17EastMain@gmail.com . Also the Newburgh Arts & Culture Commission could be contacted as well firstname.lastname@example.org . The local public schools, Orange County Community College, and Mount Saint Mary’s College could also have students work showcased. This idea worked well with a University in Pennsylvania. They painted scenes of busy shops and placed them in the empty storefronts. Perhaps the director of Ann Street Gallery would be interested too. If local people get involved, then they will take pride in their community.