Art in General Will Leave SoHo Space After 34 Years

The non-profit does not yet have a new home.

Brendan Fernandes “From Hiz Hands” (2010) Exterior installation at 79 Walker Street. Photo: Courtesy Art in General.

Art in General, a 34-year-old non-profit organization dedicated to providing artists with space, funding, and other resources revealed to artnet News today that after over three decades, they will not be renewing the lease on their SoHo/Tribeca space.

“We’ve occupied the space for quite some time,” board president Robert Ferguson told artnet News during a phone conversation. “Our lease is now coming to an end in December of this year, and we’ve decided to embark on the process of finding a new space.”

Founded in 1981 by artists Martin Weinstein and Teresa Liszka, the organization has supported thousands of local and international artists including Marina Abramović, Polly Apfelbaum, Gabriel Orozco, Dorothea Rockburne, and Glenn Ligon in realizing complex and groundbreaking projects.

Since its inception, Art in General has been located in the General Tools building at 79 Walker Street, occupying the fourth and sixth floors, which are used as exhibition and office space, respectively. In 2003, General Tools donated the storefront space to be used as a gallery.

General Tools will also be moving, and plans for the future of the building remain unknown.

One of the organization’s core programs is the New Commissions Program, which provides artists with “a high level of organizational and conceptual support including artist fees, production fees, exhibition space, a solo exhibition, promotion, and opportunities to engage with audiences through free online and public programs,” according to a description on the website. Despite the location shakeup, the program will continue as usual.

“We have confirmed programming right up until the end of December and through the first part of 2016,” director Anne Barlow told us. “In the event that we don’t have a new space beginning in January, we are in talks with a variety of other organizations to fill the gap and make sure that the New Commissions Program is not affected.”

While the organization doesn’t have a particular neighborhood or location in mind at this time, they have slowly and quietly begun their exploration of possible new homes.

“We have already started the process of looking,” noted Ferguson. “We knew this was coming at the end of the year, and the board has been in full gear sort of looking around at new spaces. We’re trying to find that perfect match of a space we can move into that will really be able to accommodate our needs.”

The non-profit is also holding their annual gala tonight, which celebrates ten years of New Commissions artists. “The program has really grown and changed in the past few years to be incredibly important,” Barlow said. The event will be attended by artists including Mickalene Thomas, Roxy Paine, Alfredo Jaar, collector Agnes Gund, and gallerists Jack Shainman, and Taymour Grahne.

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