Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs
11-03 45th Avenue, Long Island City
DCGP presents four independently-curated exhibitions each year at our Long Island City, NY location. We have two usable exhibition spaces: Our 1,200 square foot main exhibition space features twenty-foot ceilings and has specialized lighting and other fittings which enable us to present a broad diversity of works, including the whole spectrum of media in which contemporary artists are practicing; and a smaller, “project” space which is appropriate for multimedia installations and more intimate works. Admission to all our exhibitions and related events is free and open to the public.
The exhibition program and corollary events present works of contemporary art in a manner that is quite distinct from that of museums and commercial galleries. DGCP has the flexibility to present works of emerging artists that would not likely be exhibited in museums. At the same time, unlike a commercial gallery setting, the emphasis of our exhibition program is context and scholarship, not sales. One of the most unique aspects of our exhibition program is that artists at various stages of their careers are exhibited together. The role of the curator is central to our exhibition program. Applications are judged on the basis of their originality, scholarship, aesthetics, and relevance to illuminating current issues in contemporary art. Selections are based not only on the quality of the proposed artworks, but also on the skill of the curator in formulating and writing about the underlying concepts that define the project. Our projects are chosen by our selection committee, chaired by David Dorsky from approximately 100 submissions from artists, art historians, art critics and curators from across the USA and abroad. Each submission requires the curator to explain the intellectual basis for the project as well as provide examples of the artworks to be included and writing samples. Our selections are guided by a range of criteria: We look for projects that are focused, compelling and fresh in their approach; we seek to represent a variety of media and themes, thus reflecting the rich diversity that is found in contemporary art.
With each exhibition, we produce and distribute an illustrated brochure to nearly 4,000 members of our audience: artists, art historians, critics, and arts-related institutions worldwide. The illustrated brochures feature a 2,000-2,500-word essay by the curator detailing the project’s raison d’etre. The brochures are integral to our exhibition program. First, they clearly explain the intellectual underpinnings of the exhibition. They also serve both to introduce our audience to the work of lesser-known artists as well as provide a fresh perspective on the works of more established artists. Additionally, the brochures function as an exhibition guide for visitors to the gallery and as a surrogate for those unable to attend in person. University and museum groups planning to visit the gallery use them as preparatory materials ahead of their visit. Finally, they serve as permanent reference materials in the collections of museums, libraries, universities, scholars and individuals throughout the world.
In conjunction with the exhibition program, DGCP sponsors a series of symposia/panel discussions through which the curators and artists have a chance to interact directly with our audience. In the course of these afternoons, a rich dialogue develops on issues of contemporary art relative to the specific subjects and themes of each exhibition. Another aspect of our programming involves educational outreach by way of informal curator talks, usually arranged in connection with visits to the gallery by museum or school groups. If the curator is unavailable, one of the gallery directors gives the talk and guided tour of the exhibition.
As part of our chartered mission, DGCP has an active charitable giving program, donating works of contemporary art from our collection to arts institutions (primarily university museums) throughout the country. We also run an internship program where students of fine art, art history and arts administration from the New York area (including Pratt, NYU, Columbia, and others) can gain practical experience and college credit. During the summer months, we turn the exhibition space over to the School of Fine and Performing Arts of the State University of New York at New Paltz for special projects.
We are a member of the Long Island City Cultural Alliance (LICCA), a 501 (c) (3) organization comprising non-profit arts institutions in Long Island City (www.licarts.org)
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