Stand4 Gallery and Community Art Center
Founded in January 2017 as an artist-run initiative, Stand4’s pursuit is to be alive and working towards a better world through the arts as an active medium of engagement. Stand4 serves as a generator of meaning, action, agency, collaboration, and social justice. It is shapeless, non-conforming, and responsive to the times. Stand4 is meant to exist as a catalyst: a way to envision a more socially and environmentally just future.
Housed in a former medical office in the heart of Bay Ridge, Stand4 brings the visual arts and programming to the center of the community, opening up opportunities for social, political and cultural connections and creating a discourse that bridges culture and tradition and includes new voices towards a more sustainable future inspired by local interests.
The Stand Project, or Stand as it is officially named, preceded Stand4 Community Arts Center as a large-scale art curation project conceived by artist and curator Jeannine Bardo. Her first series of curations took place in the communities of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights with plans to expand into other parts of Brooklyn.
Far removed from the art world, both of these neighborhoods in which Jeannine grew up have supported an ever-changing working-class immigrant population. Rich in history and community, such places served as inspiration for each curatorial work or art show. The shows will take place over the course of a few years and culminate in a large-scale exhibition featuring the visual, performing and cultural artists of the community, in an interactive and community-wide event.
Stand was launched in Butcher Bar, a place of public gathering, owned by a local family of Bay Ridge butchers. It was soon followed by a show in a studio of textile arts established by a local female designer, called Brooklyn Stitchery, as a sign of the interweaving of materials, ideas, and people. Other exhibitions have included Reich Paper Pop-up Show at the local family owned paper company, Sheltered Past, a show taking place in a historic Bay Ridge town house and Misercordiano at St. Ephrems Church in Dyker Heights just to name a few. The series, if it is brought back into the community, will branch out to other venues, public, private, commercial, religious, academic, and personal with the goal of culminating in a large-scale exhibition featuring the visual, performing and cultural artists of the community, in an interactive and community-wide event.
Jeannine used each venue as the inspiration for a particular show with the aim of giving artists the means to connect their works to the place they live in and the people they live around. She wanted the local community to see art that is accessible and relevant to their own experiences.
Stand4 Community Arts Center is now the focus of Jeannine’s curatorial and artistic practice. Having a brick and mortar space creates a place that can create deeper connections and a more consistent presence for the arts in Bay Ridge.