Bushwick building is one big art gallery until tenants move in

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Talk about an art studio!

Vacant apartments in a soon-to-be occupied Bushwick rental building have become the neighborhood’s newest exhibition spaces as a part of a month-long art show that organizers hope will rival Manhattan’s Armory show.

The so-called “Brooklyn Artillery” festival — which runs on weekends until Oct. 31 in a Troutman Avenue rental building called “Castle Braid” — offers more than a dozen artists, galleries and curators space in uninhabited apartments on the first two floors, plus courtyards and other facilities inside the 144-unit structure.

Curator Leia Doran said the arts festival is a great way encourage the neighborhood’s thriving art community and help find creative tenants for landlord Mayer Schwartz — the property owner, who also owns Bedford Avenue’s Mini Mall.

“They really do want this to be an artists’ community, and I think something like this will attract people,” said Doran, who helped organize the event with the Williamsburg Gallery Association.

Some artworks in the rental building — which is planning to charge rents ranging from $1,650 for a one-bedroom to $2,925 for a three bedroom — aim to reflect the exhibition’s setting as a domestic environment.

Artist Ellie Famutimi has turned one of the pristine new apartments into a series of messy bedrooms meant to tell the story of the rooms’ imagined inhabitants, one of whom happens to be Ariel from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” Guests are encouraged to interact and touch all parts of her exhibit.

When apartments in the building finally welcome their rental tenants next week, those residents will have the chance to live alongside the art festival for its final month.

“The show is going to stay up in the apartments around the courtyard when the building opens,” said Doran. “If somebody specifically wants an apartment that an exhibitor is in, then the exhibitor will be moved. It’s great [for tenants]. It’s like they’ll be living in art for four weeks.”

“Brooklyn Artillery” at the Castle Braid building [114 Troutman St. between Evergreen and Central avenues in Bushwick, (425) 760-6514] is open every weekend, noon–8 pm. Admission is free with a $5 suggested donation. For information, visit or

Updated 5:14 pm, July 9, 2018
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