Briefing

An East London arts community rallies against gentrification; Executive Director of New York's El Museo del Barrio to leave 

The Coca-Cola mural in Hackney Wick, London. Courtesy: Matthew Aslett / Demotix / Press Association Images

The Coca-Cola mural in Hackney Wick, London. Courtesy: Matthew Aslett / Demotix / Press Association Images

  • Residents of Hackney Wick, an area in the east of London home to a large arts community, have launched a petition to protect the area from gentrification. Plans have been made to demolish Vittoria Wharf, a former tyre factory that is now home to more than 100 artists and small businesses, in order to construct a pedestrian bridge across the neighbouring Regent’s Canal. Residents are facing eviction at the start of next month.
     
  • El Museo del Barrio, a key New York institution for Latino art and culture, has announced that executive director Jorge Daniel Veneciano will leave the institution at the end of the month, after only two years in the job. While Veneciano is said to be leaving ‘to pursue new opportunities’, questions have been raised about institution’s future, with several major donations from both individuals and foundations due to expire.
     
  • New York art space P!, which calls itself as ‘a free-wheeling combination of project space, commercial gallery, Mom-and-Pop-Kunsthalle, and exhibition-making machine’ has announced that it will launch its final season of exhibitions this autumn. Founder Prem Krishnamurthy stated that despite the forthcoming closure of the space at 334 Broome Street in Chinatown, P! will restart operations in 2018, working on offsite exhibitions, artist books, and collaborating with institutions.
     
  • The Minneapolis Institute of Art has launched the USD$6 million Gale Asian Art initiative, a long-term campaign to create public programming, exhibitions, and found a new scholarship dedicated to Asian art. The institution already boasts one of the largest permanent displays of Japanese art in the US, with 15 dedicated galleries, each covering over 10,000 square feet.
     
  • Actor Alec Baldwin claims that New York dealer Mary Boone has sold him the wrong painting by the artist Ross Bleckner. Baldwin says he was under the impression that he was purchasing Bleckner’s 1996 work, Sea and Mirror. However, Boone’s lawyer claims that Baldwin had been made aware that he would be receiving a different piece from the same series, stating that ‘he should not have misunderstood what he purchased’.

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