From invisible dogs to great art on Bergen Street

for The Brooklyn Paper
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A shuttered novelty toy factory is about to become Boerum Hill’s newest arts destination.

The Invisible Dog art center — named after the kitschy dog-leash tchotchke that was manufactured in the building in the 1970s — will open on Oct. 3 with three new exhibitions.

“There are no galleries or spaces like this where people can come and have exhibitions and performanc­es,” said Lucien Zayan (pictured).

In the venue’s massive first-floor exhibition space, which Zayan and co-creator Muriel Guépin hope will soon host performance art and concerts, 22 artists will present “No Longer Empty” — a group show using materials salvaged from the novelty factory.

Upstairs, visitors can check out open studios as well as an exhibit by the newly formed group Recession Arts, a group that aims to help both emerging artists and middle income art lovers by showcasing and selling works for reasonable prices.

Invisible Dog [51 Bergen St. between Smith and Boerum Place in Cobble Hill, (718) 858-4535]. Open reception on Oct. 3, 6–9 pm. For specific gallery hours, visit,, or

Updated 5:14 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Christina from Brooklyn says:
This article isn't factually correct. No Longer Empty is a non-for-profit organization that is HOSTING a month long show titled "The Invisible Dog" at the factory.

NO LONGER EMPTY was conceived as a meeting point between art and the economic crises. The organization seeks to provide a challenging platform to artists whose opportunities have been similarly curtailed by the economic ravages and to revitalize the empty commercial spaces by creating more traffic and showing the sites filled with positive energy instead of bordered up shells. The organization also hopes to encourage the local business community of each area through the increased flow of visitors that these exhibitions will bring.

We are on our 4th installation in a matter of months!

Press Preview : October 1, 12pm – 2pm
Fundraising Dinner : October 1, 7pm
General Opening : October 3, 6pm – 9pm
Where: 51 Bergen St. Brooklyn NY

The latest installation of NO LONGER EMPTY fulfills the not-for-profit’s mission to bring art to the public in unexpected places and revitalize empty storefronts. This incarnation is an old warehouse in Brooklyn that once housed a belt factory and the much loved novelty gag of the 70s, The INVISIBLE DOG .A group of some 19 established and emerging artists will enliven the former factory floor with inventive art works that allude and respond to both the history and present circumstances of the space. Artists will also be given the opportunity to work with the many trimmings, reels of fabric, leather and other materials excavated from the factory.

Artists include: Thomas Bell, Ryan Brennan, Amanda Browder, Gina Czarneck, Jeanette Doyle, Richard Garet, Monika Grzymala, Guerra de la Paz (Alain Guerra & Neraldo de la Paz), Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Kaarina Kaikkonen, Sarah Modiano, Miguel Palma, Jose Parla, Rey Parla, Ian Rawlinson & Nick Crowe, Tom Sanford, Keith Schweitzer, Francesco Simeti, Alfred Steiner, Giuseppe Stampone, Steve DeFrank, Giles Lyon,

Curators: Manon Slome, Asher Remy-Toledo, Julia Draganovic
Sept. 24, 2009, 4:38 pm
Cadman from Plaza says:
Ain"t it time for Brooklyn to grow up and create/steal another major art museum with permanent collections, curators, exhibitions and stuff? Failing that, why not turn Borough Hall into an American history museum?
Sept. 30, 2009, 2:51 pm
Kellogg from Boerum Hill says:
Lovely as NO LONGER EMPTY and The Invisible Dog is.... these enterprises are hardly the first of its kind or that there are "no galleries or spaces like this where people can come and have exhibitions and performances.” as quoted by Lucien Zayan is hopefully a misquote because it is uninformed. Artists have been adapting under-used spaces for as long as I can remember and there are perhaps dozens of other outstanding examples of artist driven galleries within 3 miles of their location on Bergen street that have long opened their doors to exhibitions and performances. This being said, there are lots of reasons to be happy and inspired by their energetic response to the neighborhood. Good luck to all.
Nov. 5, 2009, 7:52 pm

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