Open Source Gallery Founder Monika Wuhrer is Today’s Honoree

monikaopensourcebrooklynImpacted by the open source movement—which promotes freely shared, educational software and information—Open Source Gallery applies a similar ethos to create an approachable space, dedicated to the dissemination and accessibility of contemporary, visual art.

Open Source is a thriving institution with a growing staff. Founded in 2008 by Monika Wuhrer and Gary Baldwin, the gallery is now comprised of 2 full-time, 1 part-time employees, 5 teaching artists, several interns, and has an active, 10-member Board of Directors. In our 6 years of existence, we have presented numerous contemporary art exhibitions, ranging from site-specific installations and performances to more traditional mediums.

In November of 2010, a boiler explosion at a nearby supermarket ignited a fire which devastated the Open Source project space. In total, the fire destroyed half a city block, as well as severely damaged Monika Wuhrer’s home located at the fire’s edge. Once legal access was regained to the damaged home, a still-displaced Monika turned her derelict residential building into a temporary exhibition space for Open Source. The exhibition held in her home, titled Associated (also the name of the ruined supermarket) included 24 artists, whose work showcased local losses caused by the flames, as well as exhibited work celebrating the neighborhood’s recovery. The curated exhibition was reviewed in The Wall Street Journal and ranked 2nd in L Magazine’s 10 best exhibitions of the year.

6 months after its destruction, Open Source found a new space in a renovated carriage house, located on 17th Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Our gallery creates an alternative space that eschews the traditional notion of the “white cube,” creating an environment that is inclusive and welcoming for all. The residential area in which the gallery is located provides an opportunity for Brooklyn communities underserved by the art world to experience a diverse array of accessible, yet challenging, contemporary visual art.

In the past several years, Open Source has received funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Puffin Foundation, J.P. Morgan Chase, and the Brooklyn Arts Council.

In 2013, L Magazine named Open Source one of the best alternative art spaces in New York City. Our exhibitions have also received reviews and acclamations in a number of local and national publications, such as: The Brooklyn Rail, BOMB Magazine, New York Times, The Brooklyn Paper, The Gothamist, Daily News, Art in America, and New York Magazine. Our programming has received reviews in: the Village Voice, Brooklyn Based, New York Daily News, and the Epoch Times.

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