Located in Boerum Hill, the Invisible Dog Art Center has been in operation since 2009 and is a multidisciplinary venue that transcends the idea of a gallery or communal artists space and offers something unique to the Brooklyn art scene. Speaking with Risa Shoup, associate director for the Invisible Dog, makes it clear why a space like the Invisible Dog can thrive in Brooklyn, and what it will take to continue to foster such an innovative artistic culture. Shoup tells us, “I find it sort of challenging to articulate what, if anything, clearly differentiates the artistic community of Brooklyn from the rest of the City. I do think there is more of an emphasis on community in Brooklyn – at least in comparison to Manhattan. I think Brooklyn-based artists are more open to collaboration; I also think there is a something about the ‘newness’ that creates solidarity in Brooklyn and leads to greater exposure of the work happening in Kings County – exposure to both the media AND to other artists and arts workers.”
Additionally, Shoup says how lucky she feels to be amid such “inspiring people,” mentioning, “the artists I work with who remind me every day that creativity and vision are crucial; the teachers, especially now at Pratt, who inspire me to think beyond my own needs and wants.” Specifically, she mentions Invisible Dog founder, Lucien Zayan for making Invisible Dog such a “magical place” and for bringing a “wealth of professional experience, and the vision for what a creative community should be.” Shoup tells us, “I think one of the best things about Brooklyn is the volume—of neighborhoods, cultures, activities, experiences, land! You have to travel in Brooklyn, but I love that because it makes you really connect to the borough as a whole in relation to wherever you live.” This idea of Brooklyn’s volume, of its lack of limitations, is reflected in the Invisible Dog itself—its the perfect venue to see the infinite possibilities of the arts.
The Invisible Dog Art Center; theinvisibledog.org
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