Caption: Studying the work of my dear friends, Ambre Kelly and Andrew Gori at their October 2016 opening of "Sightseers" at Equity Gallery. This notable exhibition project was curated by art incubator Melinda Wang, who is my project partner in the Art Church Networking Group.

 
 

Section introduction: First and foremost, I consider myself to be an artist and a painter. Starting in the early 2000's, I have also found that I possess a rapt fascination with art development, and that I find great joy in building things that create opportunities for other artists.

To that end, this section includes a brief synopsis on 3 New York City-based projects: Art Church Networking Group, Art During the Occupation Gallery, and Bushwick Art Crit Group.

If you'd like to learn more about any of these projects, kindly e-mail me at cs@christopherstout.com.

 
 
Note: This project is on hiatus during Covid—19, and will be revived as permitted in the future.

Art Church is a recurring networking event, and is a vehicle for the visual arts community in New York City to learn about what others are doing, encourage each other, make new connections, and engage with old friends.

I began this series of artist/curator networking events in May 2017 on a Sunday in the Lower East Side (hence the name Art Church). The events seemed to demonstrate an interest for more real-world connection. In 2018 I was able to share the leadership of this project with Melinda Wang, who facilitated opportunities for Art Church to hold sessions in art venues in Midtown, Harlem, and Bushwick and Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn. Melinda Wang is a curator, art advisor, and the founder of MW Projects. (www.melindawang.com)

Here's how Art Church works:

To facilitate the networking experience, we provide nametags for each guest to write their name, along with GREEN DOTS to designate artists, PURPLE DOTS to designate curators, and RED DOTS to designate some other profession in the visual arts (e.g., writer, residency manager, etc.) Attendees are instructed to use each appropriate dots on their name tags as a visual representation of their professional practices.

For the first part of the session, every participant's "job" is to engage in a short conversation with every other guest, using the dots as conversation cues. Participants are also asked to please bring their business cards and/or postcards from shows past, present, or future to exchange with each another.

The second part of the session includes an "open mike" for people who want to share projects or resource information with the entire group, followed by wine and snacks. All artists and curators are welcome.

 
 

In 2015 after a year of careful planning, I launched Christopher Stout Gallery, with a visual arts program focalizing on subversive and difficult ART. I renamed the gallery, Art During the Occupation Gallery as a statement of protest directly after the 2016 Presidential election. Located in Bushwick, the gallery presented work defined as, "challenging to authority paradigms, feminist, queer, anti-establishment, hyper-aggressive, mystic, and/or joyously sexual."

(My own art was never included in any of Art During the Occupation Gallery's programming; this project.)

From 2015-2018; the gallery represented several prominent emerging and midcareer New York City artists, with twenty-seven solo exhibition projects, four art fair presentations in New York and Miami, and a myriad of group exhibitions.

MORE than ever, I extend my deepest and most heartfelt acknowledgement to the artists whose work comprised the gallery’s evolutionary and revolutionary exhibitions. I firmly believe that the artists I was privileged to work with are the present and the future of Contemporary Art in New York.

Gallery Website: http://art-during-the-occupation-gallery.com/
Gallery Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artduringtheoccupationgallery/

 

Bushwick Art Crit Group (BACG), ran from 2013-2016 with a mission statement of understanding Contemporary Art through the lens of the art and artists in Bushwick.

Most notably, BACG's event invitations contained two recurring messages:

1. "Admission is free and all are welcome."
2. "Bushwick is a movement!"

Our first year consisted exclusively of a monthly artist lecture series, hosted by our friends at Brooklyn Fire Proof.

During our second year, we expanded into multi-faceted programming, including gallery shows and art fair projects consisting of the artists who shared their work during our lecture series. During our third year, BACG also conducted a notable feminist panel discussion with Frida Kahlo of the Guerrilla Girls and launched a YouTube channel interviewing Bushwick artists in their studios.

Bushwick Art Crit Group was a fiscally sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a 501(c)(3) public charity.

Gallery Website: http://bushwickartcritgroup.com/