No Longer Empty is unique in presenting site-specific exhibitions in all of our locations. We commission and curate art that has a connection to its space and neighborhood. At the heart of our process is community engagement. We work with neighboring residents, and diverse curators and artists in the co-creation of all aspects of our programming.
No Longer Empty curates site-responsive exhibitions, education and public programs in unexpected locations around New York City that are free and accessible to everyone. Once invited to a property, we arrange several site visits to get an understanding of the space, its architecture, its history, and relation to the greater area.
A synthesis of community interviews and site research drives the curatorial process, which aims to surface histories and local narratives. In this stage, we meet and listen to members of the community – artists, residents, organizations, and businesses. From both the site and area research, No Longer Empty distills all information into a theme and related programming that relates to the site as well as the input of local residents.
In turn, emergent themes and physical aspects of the site provide artists with new opportunities to expand their practices through site-commissioned work. Artists, together with curators, are encouraged to delve into the research and expand upon it. From there, new commissions, projects, or programs are formed with the site and community in mind. Meanwhile, the site is prepared to the curators’ plans. When the artworks are ready for installation, professional art handlers come, exhibition designers install all elements, and technicians create optimum lighting for the pieces. Once our exhibition and programming initiatives are underway, we survey artists, track audience numbers, evaluate collaborations, and measure our performance.
No Longer Empty’s curators find that studio visits give us the best insights into an artists’ work and practice. Sometimes these studio visits result from a work we have seen in a gallery or through recommendations of other curators, organizations, or artists with whom we have already worked. We identify new as well as established talent that resonates with the theme of the exhibition. Artists work in a range of media and have both local and international origins.
No Longer Empty’s collaborative exhibitions and programs strengthen community networks and cultural resources. No Longer Empty has signature education programs that engage families and schools. To present this art experience to the widest audience possible, we work together with local community organizations and collectives. Many times our collaborations are interdisciplinary, drawing on the creative synergies from fields such as dance, music, or technology.
We work to establish legacy programs at each site, and have launched educational programs with the schools we’ve invited to our exhibitions. We also host the NLE Curatorial Lab within the same neighborhood—to expand the model, heighten the site-specific curatorial practice, and provide meaningful art experiences for all viewers.
“No Longer Empty curates site-responsive exhibitions, education and public programs in unexpected locations around New York City that are free and accessible to everyone.”