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A Massive Blackboard Brings Together a Community of Artists

DUMBO, Brooklyn's LAND Gallery provides a place for artists normally designated as "outsiders" to develop their craft.

Amidsts cutesy boutiques, and tree-lined streets, a small gallery gets ready for an intimate opening night. The artists and their families slowly fill up the space to celebrate an exciting night of collaboration. Located in DUMBO, Brooklyn, LAND Gallery provides a place for artists normally designated as "outsiders" to develop their craft, integrating them into the community as working artists. This month, the day habilitation program teamed up with Shrine Gallery, a gallery, run by Scott Ogden, dedicated to folk and outsider art, as well as artist Austin English. Together they created Blackboard, a collaborative drawing and show featuring the works of Nicole Appel, Rudy Bansraj, Stephon Bryce, Carlo Daleo, Myasia Dowdell, Garrol Gayden, Kenya Hanley, Robert Latchman, Christine Lewis, Michael Pellew, James Rosa, Corey Scarboro, and Byron Smith.

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First in a series called LANDLovers, where curators are invited to collaborate with the LAND gallery artists, Blackboard beautifully displays the power and beauty in the varying styles of LAND artists. Austin English worked with them during a four-week residency, leading a group collaboration that mixed all of their distinct styles into one big mural. Over several weeks of drawing, it became an exercise that encouraged the artists to think big and contribute to a demanding work of art, and enabled them to share the outcome with their families and friends.

Eager to show off their works, the artists displayed filing cabinets filled to the brim with their paintings and drawings, making their blackboard creations all the more easy to pinpoint and enjoy—this was, by far, my favorite part of the exhibition. It became apparent that their love for creating is an innate part of who they are, a valve they cannot turn off. Luckily enough, they've found a center that enriches them creatively.

Blackboard will be on display until October 15th. To learn more about LAND Gallery, click here

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