Press

Designer Pages Media, 07/02/14
Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for Bronx River Art Center Building Renovation

By Jackie Austin | web link

New York City public officials  joined Bronx River Art Center (BRAC) Executive Director Gail Nathan; Board Chair William Aguado; and BRAC staff, students, and patrons for a groundbreaking ceremony marking a $10 million city-funded renovation. BRAC’s 100-year-old, 18,000-square-foot building will undergo a major renovation  and, when reopened, will house classrooms, studio spaces, a state-of-the-art computer lab, and ground floor art gallery. The design by Sage and Coombe Architects and Tattfoo Tan studios received an award from the NYC Public Design Commission in 2009, which cited the project for bringing BRAC’s facility “firmly into the 21st Century by upgrading program and public spaces, introducing sustainable design elements and establishing an institutional identity.” The project is expected to be completed in fall 2016.

The ceremony was attended by NYC Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl; Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.; Department of Design and Construction Deputy Commissioner David Resnick; City Council Member Ritchie Torres; State Senator Guastavo Rivera; Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda; and Javier Lopez for Congressman Jose E. Serrano.

Of the renovation, Executive Director Gail Nathan says, “BRAC is an essential resource for an otherwise underserved community and our goal is to secure and restore this facility as a cultural asset in the Bronx for generations to come.”

“The Bronx River Arts Center has been a mainstay of the borough’s cultural arts heritage for over 25 years.  Despite the travails of this construction project BRAC has remained steadfast in its commitment in serving our borough’s young and mature artists alike in the West Farms neighborhood and beyond,” says Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “It is fitting that my office and my associates in government provided the financial assistance to make this project feasible as it stands as a beacon of inspiration for our aspiring artists in the restoration of the Bronx River, and indeed, the whole of The Bronx.”

The new facilities will provide better resources and improve educational instruction for BRAC students, who participate in courses that range from traditional studio arts, like painting and ceramics, to technologies like digital photography and the digital design arts. Students in the digital art courses will learn how to use the latest versions of Adobe software and other design tools in the new computer lab. The ground floor art gallery will provide a space for cutting-edge contemporary art that is both challenging and socially relevant. Also on the ground floor will be a new multi-purpose, black-box space for performing art presentations, as well as community events and additional space for classes. The third floor studio spaces will provide practicing artists with space to create art and to interact with community youth and residents on income-generating enterprises for the design market. Proceeds will be used to improve BRAC’s programming and provide scholarships to students.

Bronx River Art Center
1087 E. Tremont Ave., Bronx, NY 10460
T (718) 589-5819
info@bronxriverart.org

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GALLERY HOURS:
Wednesday - Friday: 3 - 6 PM
Saturday: 12 - 5 PM
Gallery hours are only in effect during the
exhibition dates.

OFFICE & CENTER HOURS:
Monday - Thursday: 10 AM - 6 PM
Saturday: 10:30 - 4 PM
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DIRECTIONS TO CENTER: (For directions to any of our Pop-up locations for exhibitions, classes, or performances, please check the approriate page on our website for current directions) By Train: Take #2 or #5 to West Farms Square/East Tremont. Walk one block east to Bronx Street. By Bus: Take #'s B9, 21, 36, 40, 42, or Q44 to East Tremont and Boston Road. By Car: Take Bruckner Expressway to Sheridan Expressway, and exit at East Tremont Ave. Turn left at the traffic light one block down onto East Tremont. Turn left after one block onto Bronx St. (Cross Bronx Expressway) towards Rosedale Ave, then exit. Turn left onto Rosedale Ave, then take a left onto Tremont Ave. Drive four blocks to West Farms Square.