In 2015, we opened the gallery and artist-hub Kunstraum by the Navy Yard in Brooklyn. As an interdisciplinary team of artists, curators, and architects, we seek to promote emerging art, as well as outstanding exhibition concepts featuring both established and emerging artists.
Kunstraum is a gallery, an artist hub, and a studio space. Our concept features both a gallery and studios inside of two 1,000 square foot lofts. The lofts are situated in a beautifully renovated factory building in the historically artistic neighborhood of Clinton Hill.
Kunstraum aims to redefine the way artists and curators collaborate. By opening our gallery to different art professionals interested in sharing engaging ideas, unconventional thinking, and risk-taking, Kunstraum pushes the parameters of emerging, international, contemporary art.
Kunstraum is born out of a necessity to create community and foster collaboration between artists, architects, curators, designers, filmmakers, and writers. The Kunstraum model features excellent studio locations, networking, research opportunities, and discourse for creative production.
In addition to regular memberships, locally advertised via the Listings Project, Kunstraum now dedicates three studios year-round to an artist residency for both national and international artists to join our community for a period of 3 months. Applications are accepted via an Open Call and on a rolling basis upon availability.
After successfully inaugurating our first space in New York as of January 2015, we seek to expand to Berlin soon. KUNSTRAUM’s global identity is designed to offer and promote international mobility and visibility.
FAQ's on Kunstraum's Artist Community
Studio and Community Memberships at Kunstraum
There are two models of memberships:
What is the Studio Membership?
Kunstraum offers Studio Memberships to artists of all kinds including visual artists, filmmakers, designers, architects, theorists, writers, and other creatives. Studio Membership durations range from three, six, or twelve months with a renewal option at the end of the chosen term. As Kunstraum is an artist community, our artist members stand at the core of our events, exhibitions, and programs. With a Studio Membership, artists have 24-hour access to their studios, the opportunity to use our gallery space (modest fee), to participate in professional networking events, promotion via social media and website, to receive our monthly newsletter with a list of open calls and residencies, to take part in 1-2 monthly curator/arts professional visits (modest fee), our annual Members Show (modest fee), career support (modest fee), and writing and photography services (modest fees). As a company designed by artists for artists, it is based on a cost-share method. Our goal is to keep memberships and maintenance/utility fees low. For commonly asked questions, please refer to the FAQ for Studio and Community Membership below.
Is it possible to join Kunstraum as a Community Member without a studio in location?
Yes, anyone can become a Community Member of Kunstraum without having a studio space in our lofts for an annual Community Membership fee of $50 per year. These members will receive our newsletter which provides opportunities for participation in our studio visit program in location or via Zoom, attend openings, curator-artist talks, exhibition walkthroughs, artist brunch, and/or other community events. Additionally, we provide two free social media postings to promote your work as well as the opportunity to participate in our monthly studio visit program for a fee of $75 upon the availability of time slots. For the studio visit program, we organize a desktop space to present your work and/or a Zoom meeting. You will also have access to be a part of our annual Members Show. If interested, please email email@example.com.
How do I become a member of a studio inside the lofts?
Available spaces are listed each week via Craigslist and the Listings Project. The applicant must submit a portfolio of work, images, their website or Instagram for review before being able to schedule a viewing of the space. If interested, please send a brief email of introduction along with one of these listed materials to firstname.lastname@example.org. The membership fee associated with each studio depends on the space’s size and layout.
Are there any maintenance or other fees outside of my monthly membership?
Kunstraum charges a maintenance fee of $35-$40 (summer/winter) per month. Outside of this, Kunstraum offers many services free of charges, such as social media and website promotion. Additional services/programs that require modest fees to participate include monthly studio visits (for a fee of $60 for members) and writing and photo services at an hourly charge (of $50 for members).
Is there a deposit connected to my Studio Membership?
To become a Studio Member, you are required to pay a membership deposit which consists of one month’s membership fee plus a $250 re-painting deposit. Separately, the remaining days of the Studio Membership fee for the starting month are prorated and invoiced.
Can I share my studio with another artist?
Our studio spaces are semi-private subdivided spaces inside shared lofts. As we have noise and occupancy restrictions, we rarely make exceptions for members to share studios. If the nature of your shared space does not infringe upon our community rules, we can, at times, make exceptions with an additional fee for the second person in the space. Please reach out to email@example.com for questions on sharing a studio.
Once I am a member, can I have guests to my studio?
Yes, but no more than 1-2 at a time. You must sign them up via our guest sign-in sheet at the moment due to COVID-19 rules for businesses. You must accompany them throughout their time in the lofts and carry liability for them.
Do I need to re-paint my studio upon move-out?
When moving out, you will be required to repaint your space and return your keys. This is the most affordable way we can offer a clean space to the next artist. If you decide not to paint, the re-painting deposit of $250 will be kept to cover the costs.
Can you participate in Kunstraum’s monthly studio visit program without being a member?
For Studio Members, it costs $60 per session to participate in our monthly studio visit program. For Community Members, it is $75. For it, we organize a desk to present your work and/or a Zoom meeting. Please note, scheduled visits are final and cannot be canceled or refunded. Sign-up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artist-in-Residence at Kunstraum
Each year, Kunstraum announces one Open Call for Artist-in-Residence application to national and international artists for a duration of three months, starting in January, April, July, and October. A jury composed of Kunstraum’s team and Curator-in-Residence selects artists based on the originality and quality of their artwork. Each residency includes a studio space, studio visits, participation in our annual Members Show, online promotion, sales opportunities via an online gallery, community events, and a great artist community to meet and interact with. The Artist-in-Residence will be offered regular studio visits by curators, gallerists, critics, art advisers, as well as social media promotion and a feature of your work on our website. For commonly asked questions, please refer to the FAQ on Kunstraum’s artist residency program below.
What events/programs does Kunstraum host that enables community and networking?
Alongside our exhibitions and studio program, Kunstraum hosts programming within our gallery and/or via Zoom. In the past, this has taken the form of panels, salons, critiques, screenings, readings, performances, member-to-member visits, and even potlucks which bring our community and the New York art world together to converse. We offer a monthly studio visit program (virtually and/or in-person) in which we invite curators/NY arts professionals into our space to have 30-minute one-on-one visits with participating members. Additionally, we have started a new program this year called Zoom-in Kunstraum Studios which is a bimonthly virtual meet-up for all members in which two members present their work to the group for discussion.
How much does it cost to be an Artist-in-Residence at Kuntraum?
The Artist-in-Residence fee is $650 per month for a 3-months term. Included is:
- Studio space with 24/7 access (workspace only no living)
- 1 to 2 monthly studio visits by New York curators, gallerists, critics, art advisers, collectors (included in residency, free of charge)
- Social media promotion (optional)
- Website promotion (optional)
- Access to gallery space between ongoing exhibition program (via inquiry, as available, modest admin fee)
- Members Show participation including curator's visit, professional photography, and online sales for 6 months (included in residency, free of charge)
- Access to events and community, networking with other New York creatives
Does Kunstraum provide Artist-in-Residence a place to stay?
No, the Artist-in-Residence is responsible for finding their own accommodation/lodging during the duration of their time in the city. We would suggest checking the websites Airbnb, Craigslist, or the Listings Project.
Are the curators who visit the gallery 1-2 times a month different each time?
Yes, they are different each visit and pulled from Kunstraum’s vast network of New York arts professionals and curators. A full list can be found under the About section of our website. We arrange our guests for studio visits 3-5 months ahead of time. If you like to suggest a specific critic, please contact email@example.com and provide us with their contact info.
When is the Kunstraum’s Members Show and how do you participate in it?
The timing of the Members Show varies as it is determined alongside our exhibition programming. It usually falls in the late Summer or Fall (August-November) and lasts about two to four weeks. Kunstraum informs their current Studio and Community Members as well as Artists-in-Residence of that year of the opportunity via email. All members in the annual membership cycle will be able to exhibit their art in the Members Show even those who are not members at the time but were members that year. Participation by Artists-in-Residence is highly encouraged.
If a resident’s period is not during Kunstraum’s Annual Member Show, but they are participating and out of New York, how will they receive their work back?
The packing and shipping for sending back artworks are organized by the artist. You could:
A) have a friend pick up the work and mail it to you/hold it for you or
B) You can pay a service fee for packing and shipping, provide all materials, and email and a FedEx, UPS, USPS label and we can drop it off for you.
Is there a specific project that should be created during the residency and exhibited by the end?
While we encourage the routine use of your studio and the production of new work, there is no specific project that has to be completed by the end of your residency. We love to include new works that have been created at Kunstraum in our Members Show but this is a requirement.
What is the difference between a Studio Membership and an Artist-in-Residence at Kunstraum?
Studio Memberships are primarily designed for local artists who want to become part of our community on an ongoing and long-term basis. These memberships are advertised on an irregular basis whenever a studio opens. As some artists have schedule restrictions or want to test the community, we offer short-term memberships at additional charges.
Kunstraum’s Artist-in-Residence program is competitive as we have limited, quarterly slots. Participants have been selected through a judged process out of a pool of many talented artists. Our residencies are awarded to artists whose work merits originality and artistic quality. These artists are given priority for studio visits and promotion as their stay is limited to a short term.
Residents automatically have a spot reserved for all studio visits at no additional charges. Studio Members are required to pay a $60 fee to participate in our monthly studio visits and must reserve a spot on a first come first serve basis. These one-on-one sessions with curators/arts professionals are an excellent way to gain exposure.
If I am an international artist or curator, what kind of visa do I need?
Artists and curators are liable for their visas. Generally enter the United States on a B1/B2 visa, which is issued for business/tourist purposes. Kunstraum’s acceptance letter/email and contractual agreements can be used in support of the visa application. If travel restrictions prevent a participant from coming, they will be able to reschedule their residency within Kunstraum’s pending availability.
What contingency plans are there in case of another Covid-19 shutdown?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kunstraum’s studios have remained accessible following strict cleaning protocols, mask-wearing, and social distancing policies within all public guidelines. As independent business entities, our Studio Members and Artists-in-Residence decide on their studio usage, work determination, and permission for it according to the public guidelines. Specific policy decisions were made in conversation with the artists. E.g. private usage hours were installed for members in need. Kunstraum’s programming was held virtually including the studio visits and an online exhibition. In October’20, we were able to host our first exhibition by appointment again. Occupancy is generally low inside our lofts but we established additional limits and have only recently allowed guests with sign-up for contact-tracing purposes. As far as a contingency plan, we would decide on similar procedures if the virus had a resurgence, complying with all government-mandated procedures. If you would like to see a full list of our COVID-19 Rules/Procedures, please inquire to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will my residency deposit be returned if I cannot travel to NY due to Covid-19?
In the case that travel becomes difficult due to COVID-19, we offer to reschedule your residency period to a different time pending Kunstraum’s availability.
Curator-in-Residence at Kunstraum
Kunstraum offers two curatorial opportunities to develop projects in collaboration with the organization: the annual open calls for the Curator-in-Residence (CIR) Program and the Exhibition Program.
The CIR overviews Kunstraum’s gallery program for 12 months, facilitating exhibitions and events to engage our community while collaborating with guest curators in the planning of their shows. The CIR organizes Kunstraum's annual Members Show and one independent exhibition. For more information, please see the Open Call for Curator-in-Residence 2020-2021.
Exhibition Program at Kunstraum
The second curatorial opportunity is Kunstraum’s annual open call for curatorial projects exploring the relationships between artists and curators by opening up our gallery to those interested in unconventional and engaging ideas that take risks through group show formats. For more information, please see the Open Call: Kunstraum Exhibition Program 2020-2021.
To be notified about the open calls, sign up for our newsletter here. Proposals can be submitted by curators and artists acting as curators.
What does Kunstraum offer to guest curators?
Kunstraum offers our gallery space for the duration of the show. Our team provides critical input during the planning and production of the exhibition, assistance in administration, press, viewing hours–by appointment–and sales. Kunstraum provides outreach to its widespread network and helps with individual communications. The guest curator receives support from the CIR in the elaboration of a public event. A $300 security needs to be deposited by the guest curator for the duration of the show.
Does Kunstraum accept proposals for solo shows for the Exhibition Program?
Our program seeks to explore relationships between artists and curators, aiming to provide space and opportunity to a wide artistic community. We only accept group exhibitions with a minimum of three and no more than six artists. Preference is given to shows that involve 50% of local artists based in the New York area.
Who is the jury that selects the shows?
The jury is composed of Kunstraum’s team and the Curator-in-Residence.
For how long will selected exhibitions be on view?
Selected exhibitions will be on view for four weeks. The guest curator will be asked to propose one public program/event as part of the show.
How does the Guest Curator collaborate with the Curator-in-Residence?
The Curator-in-Residence helps to produce the show with critical input and admins its production. Working together with the Curator-in-Residence, guest curators receive support to develop a public program/event related to the exhibition.
Does Kunstraum make suggestions for the curatorial work and content?
Yes, Kunstraum makes suggestions regarding artwork selection in relation to socio-political discourse relevant in New York, seeking to act as mediator and connector to the public.
Does Kunstraum help the guest curators to find additional local artists?
Suggestions for local artists to consider/add-on for an exhibition can be made by the Curator-in-Residence and Kunstraum’s team if requested.
Is there a production budget for the show?
The Guest Curator brings their independent show to Kunstraum. Kunstraum acts as an exhibition platform. The Guest Curator carries the responsibility to fund and/or acquire a production budget for the realization of their show. As a small artist-run organization without public funding, Kunstraum can not provide additional production budget aside from the offered services but can provide letters of support and suggestions on whom to contact. If a production budget is acquired via a grant, it's shared between Kunstraum 25% and the guest curator 75%. Kunstraum and guest curators each receive a 25% commission on sales and the exhibited artists 50%.
Is there a floor plan for Kunstraum's gallery?
Yes, please find the floorplan here for download. Images can be found in the gallery archive for each show.
Exhibition Submission/ Gallery Rental
To rent the gallery for events or exhibitions, please contact email@example.com to review your proposal against a $100 fee. Please explain your project, length, budget, technical details, participants (250 words, 5-10 images/links, >5 MB). Upon acceptance, a modest fee of $450 per week for the Gallery Rental will be offered. Additional fees apply for Official Programming (gallery listing, press, and curatorial work) upon request. A deposit is due upon rental to be returned once the space has been repainted and restored.
Testimonials and Success Stories
Please visit our Testimonials and Success Stories section to learn more about our member's experience as well as success through Kunstraum networking.
Jacob Rhodes & Kristin Racaniello, Field Projects; Randy Kennedy, Hauser & Wirth; Francesca Altamura, New Museum; Yona Backer, Third Stream; Tamas Banovich, Postmasters Gallery; Kathy Battista, Sotheby's Institute of Art; Natascha Becker, Ford Foundation; Jill Benson, Ground Floor Gallery; Amber Berson, Art+Feminism Wikipedia Project; Lydia Brawner, MAD Museum; Victoria Brooks, EMPAC; Deborah Brown, Storefront Ten Eyck; Elle Burchill and Andrea Fiore, Microscope Gallery; Alison Burstein, The Kitchen; Sean Patrick Carney, Bruce High Quality University; Omar Lopez Chahoud, Untitled Art Fair; Kari Conte, International Studio and Curatorial Program; Kyle Dancewicz, Sculpture Center; Mira Dayal, JAC; Joshua Decter, Critic; Eden Deering, PPOW Gallery; Sarah Demeuse, Independent Curator; Ingrid Dinter, Dinter Fine Arts; Shlomit Dror, Independent Curator; Owen Duffy, MAD Museum; Aliza Edelman, Independent Curator; Monika Fabijanska, Independent Curator; Alessandro Facente, NARS Foundation; Karen Hesse Flatlow, Crush Curatorial; Kathleen Forde, Borusan Contemporary; Iliya Fridman, Fridman Gallery; Sonja Gandert, Independent Curator; David Gibson, Gibson Contemporary; Ivan Gilbert, NURTUREart; Larry Greenberg, Studio 10; Katya Grohovsky, The Immigrant Artist Biennial; Elisa Gutierrez, NARS Foundation; Peter Gynd, Lesley Heller Gallery; Tam Gryn, Culturadora; Julian A. Jimarez Howard, OUTLET Fine Art; Will Hutnick, Wassaic Project; Hitomi Iwasaki, Queens Museum; Paddy Johnson, Art F City; Kamia Ferdowsi Kline, Wythe Hotel; Mitra Khorasheh, signs and symbols; Vanessa Kowalski, NARS Foundation; Audra Lambert, Artefuse; Charlene K. Lau, PERFORMA; Imara Limon, Amsterdam Museum; Michelle Maigret, C24 Gallery; Justin McCann, Colby College Museum of Art; Tom McGlynn, Independence Curator; Alex Paik, Tiger Strikes Astroid; Sara Reismann, Shelly and Donald Rubin Foundation; Kimberly Rhodes, Art History Department of Drew University; Cindy Rucker, Cindy Rucker Gallery; Amanda Ryan, Independent Curator; Jacob Rhodes, Field Projects; Marisa Sage, Reza Hort Mann Foundation; Agustin Schang, Emily Harvey Foundation and GSAPP; Sandino Scheidegger, Random Institute; Jennifer G. Simmons, Doppelganger Projects; Rachel Vera Steinberg, Independent Curator; Jillian Steinhauer, Hyperallergic; Livia Straus, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art; Raul Zamudio Taylor, Independent Curator; Helen Toomer, Stoneleaf Retreat; Yulia Topchiy, Assembly Room; Wendy Vogel, Art in America; Gregory Volk, Hyperallergic; Cora von Pape, Independent Curator; Joseph Wolin, Art Critic; Midori Yoshimoto, Art Department of New Jersey City University; Heather Zizes, (READ)Art