184 Kent

Lobby Exhibition Program

In October 2009, Brooklyn Arts Council, in partnership with JMH Development, put out an open call for proposals for art installations by Brooklyn artists to be installed at the newly converted luxury rental building 184 Kent Ave. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. From the 200 entries the JMH team selected two artists to each install original artworks for 6-month periods. Lisa Kellner's 3-dimensional silk sculpture "At Summer's Full" was installed in April 2010. It can be seen not only by residents in the building but also by passersby on the outdoor public walkway to the waterfront. A.J. Bocchino's "New York Times Headlines (January 1, 1969-March 18, 1975)" was installed in fall 2010.

A.J. Bocchino, "New York Times Headlines (January 1, 1969-March 18, 1975)"

Bocchino excised the main headline from the front page of the New York Times every day for six years. The headlines are listed in chronological order and color-coded according to subject. This work is part of an ongoing project that will ultimately cover 100 years and 36,525 headlines, of which Bocchino has completed 45 years so far. As much as possible, the work is presented objectively without emotion, bias, or sentiment. It is important that the information is presented in a strict systematic format, devoid of subjectivity, allowing for the viewer to interpret the headlines and draw their own conclusions.

At Summer's Full

Commissioned specifically for 184 Kent, At Summer's Full intends to capture the ebb and flow of the merged urban and natural spaces of its environment. Like the Emily Dickinson poem from which its title is drawn, the installation evolves from beauty and nature yet demonstrates a strong foothold in the abstract. The artist, Lisa Kellner, is based in Red Hook. Her work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Brooklyn Arts Council's BAC Gallery in DUMBO. Last summer she was awarded a Swing Space Residency through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Kellner's work has been recognized by The New York Times, The Boston Globe and Sculpture Magazine.

This installation is the first in a series made possible through a partnership between 184 Kent and Brooklyn Arts Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and connecting Brooklyn's arts scene.

About the Building 

Located on the Williamsburg waterfront, 184 Kent Avenue was originally home to Austin, Nichols & Company, the largest grocery wholesaler in the Country at the time. The building was constructed from 1913-1915 by renowned architect Cass Gilbert. Gilbert employed Egyptian Revival motifs for the structure, with a covered cornice, battered walls and narrow window openings while pioneering the use of reinforced concrete technology. Although Austin, Nichols & Company moved out in the 1950s, many of the building's architectural features remain to this day and the building has received a well-deserved place on the National Register of Historic Places. The building has been converted into a luxury rental. An East River shoreline public walkway will run along the western facade of the building. Beginning at 184 Kent Avenue, this walkway will extend to Greenpoint, allowing both tenants and the general public to enjoy the magnificent waterfront.