About our Alive With Art honorees
Ted and Marianne Hovivians' history in Brooklyn began when they bought commercial real estate in the borough to house their furniture manufacturing business, Rialto Furniture Company. In 1983 they bought 56 Bogart Street, a 100,000 square foot loft building, and thought it would be an ideal place to manufacture. While the building was ideal, the location wasn't the best place to move their company at the time.
Instead, they kept the building as an investment and it was populated with six garment manufacturers until 2004, when manufacturing businesses deserted New York. Left with a nearly empty 100,000 square feet, the question became “What to do?” The Hovivians started looking around at the neighborhood and saw the beginning of change. The streets were more populated, and they noticed artists and craftspeople in the area. Ted, who is expert at connecting people, already had a vision for working with displaced artists, especially those from Williamsburg’s Northside. In order to reach this new population, they hung a simple sign on the building "ARTISTS WORK LOFTS FOR RENT" and that began an evolution that is still in motion today. From there, the Hovivians began the transformation to create smaller artist workrooms in the cavernous building.
The building is located directly across the street from the prime subway stop in Bushwick, the Morgan Avenue station. To this day, the telephone rings daily with artists seeking space.
The demand led to redesigning the floors to small workrooms and galleries for the new tenants. Now, instead of six manufacturing tenants, 56 Bogart Street is home to over 120 artists, craftspeople and galleries. These artists are happy to be in a community of likeminded people. They have a place to be creative individually and meet collectively.
Because of the community and the location, The Bogart has become the nexus for art in the Bushwick community. The building is alive with multi-faceted art. Artists work, meet, and show in the galleries all under one roof. On a regular basis, Ted Hovivian walks the corridors of the building and greets the tenants. Friday nights and weekends are often the liveliest time when galleries are open and artists are showing or working at their craft. Based on location and the spirit within the building, 56 Bogart Street is the center of a creative community.
In the fall of 2018, Marianne and Ted completed a 40,000 square foot contemporary building adjacent to The Bogart, call The AnX. That building is also dedicated to galleries, artist spaces and hospitality. Again, they are adapting to a changing and growing environment and welcoming newcomers.