People Make a Home [Real Estate] A project by Katherine Gressel, for “Windows Brooklyn,” 2009
We’ve all seen poster displays in the windows of real estate agencies, advertising the latest luxury properties. In Brooklyn, these ads seem especially ubiquitous, as the borough’s popularity as a residential destination continues to grow. Yet today, as many people struggle to find affordable housing in Brooklyn, and a national subprime mortgage crisis has escalated economic recession, it is important to remember that a home is more than just a nice apartment. Our homes are shaped and defined by the people who live in them—our roommates, parents, children, siblings, significant others, ourselves-- and these people who “make a home” in Brooklyn are ultimately Brooklyn’s greatest assets.
People Make a Home [Real Estate] (PMH Real Estate) is a mock real-estate ad display adorning the storefront windows of the nonprofit community arts center Starting Artists, Inc. (SA) (www.startingartists.org) at 211 Smith St. in Cobble Hill, from June 6-13, 2009. which, instead of showcasing the physical and material amenities of Brooklyn homes, “advertises” different people who live in them. The “People Postings” on this site, and on display at Starting Artists, were all submitted by different Brooklyn residents, including Starting Artists staff and students. People were invited to either submit photos and quotations to lead artist Katherine Gressel, so she could create postings for them, or create their own postings using a pre-designed template. Together these “people postings” form a patchwork that celebrates Brooklyn’s diversity. The window display is also meant to reinforce Starting Artists’ mission—by training young people as artists and creative entrepreneurs, SA is a local business that invests in people.
Depending on interest and number of submissions, we may be able to continue the project as a rotating window display of different “people postings” and/or an ongoing website/blog.
TO SHOWCASE A PERSON IN YOUR HOME IN PMH REAL ESTATE:
I. Please complete one of the following options (scroll down on the right side, for the more specific instructions): 1. Create your own complete “people posting,” using the supplies of your choice, following the attached “design your own” instructions, sketches, and templates as guidelines.
2. Submit a “request for a people posting,” to be created for you by lead artist Katherine Gressel, using the “Request a posting” instructions and sending photos/pictures.
ABOUT WINDOWS BROOKLYN Windows Brooklyn takes art out of the traditional museum or gallery setting and incorporates it into a vibrant public space. The show turns pedestrians into viewers, slowing down impatient walkers and transforming the frequently traveled routes of harried commuters. Turning independent business owners into collaborators who are willing to exchange commerce for culture, the exhibition is a commentary on the nature of the window both as a physical object and as an idea, one that goes far beyond just pieces of glass. We seek to reflect the incredible history of Brooklyn while simultaneously adding to it. We are forging new connections between artists and their communities, changing the ways in which we direct our gazes, and altering our habits for interacting with the structures that surround us. Windows Brooklyn 2009 will be happening June 6-13, 2009 in the Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens Neighborhoods of Brooklyn. http://www.windowsbrooklyn.com/
ABOUT STARTING ARTISTS A 501(c)3 organization, Starting Artists, Inc. (SA) benefits under-served teenagers in Brooklyn, NY through hands-on training in the arts and entrepreneurship. SA’s free after-school classes in media arts and business prepare and inspire youth to create arts-based enterprises. www.startingartists.org
ABOUT THE ARTIST Katherine Gressel holds a B.A. with honors in art from Yale, and an M.A. in arts Administration from Teachers College/Columbia. She has led collaborative mural projects in New York and San Francisco, and exhibited artwork at the Brooklyn Public Library, the Brooklyn Arts Council Gallery, The Rising Arts Gallery, and smaller venues. She is a recipient of the 2008 National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts Edwin Austin Abbey Memorial Fund for Mural Painting, and most recently a grant from the Puffin Foundation to exhibit in and curate a group show addressing redevelopment and environmental sustainability issues in Brooklyn. www.katherinegressel.com