Proteus Gowanus is an interdisciplinary gallery and reading room. Named for the Greek sea god of change and the adjacent Gowanus Canal, Proteus Gowanus acts as an interpreter of culture and place, deepening the community’s sense of context and connection.

Current Exhibition


September 6 – November 30, 2014

Proteus Gowanus will reopen in September with a new yearlong theme, COMMERCE. The first exhibition of the COMMERCE year will be Currency, an exhibition examining the representation of value and its relation to social consensus. Along with displays of alternative currencies, artist-made currencies and art objects made with currency as medium, there will also be workshops and activities designed to make money, to play with notions of value and worth, and to consider the looking-glass world of artistic value. [more]

Archival Exhibits

Our exhibition spaces include several archival installation that accrue and slowly evolve: Hall of the Gowanus, Reanimation Library, and Morbid Anatomy Library. Come and spend a quiet hour or two browsing the books, studying old maps, examining curious artifacts.


Since its inception, Proteus has created or hosted eight Projects-in-Residence, located in spaces adjacent to the central gallery. Some of these projects grew directly from our yearlong exhibitions, while other initiatives were invited to join based on their shared love of books, their wide-ranging intellectual curiosity, and their desire to engage the community in inclusive interdisciplinary explorations.

bkbx [Brooklyn Box]
Fixers’ Collective
Hall of the Gowanus
Morbid Anatomy
Reanimation Library
Writhing Society


Study Hall

Proteus Gowanus invites you to join Study Hall, a place for contemplation, study and work. Members use the Proteus galleries and reading rooms to work in quiet community with others in a setting filled with art, artifacts and books. [more]

Ongoing Events

Writhing Society

Wednesdays at 7pm

The Writhing Society, open to writers and non-writers alike, practices methods of constrained writing invented by the French group Oulipo and others. [more]

Fixers Collective

Third Thursday of every month

The Fixers Collective is a social experiment in improvisational fixing. Bring your broken thing and together we will see what can be done. [more]

Drawing the Gowanus: a Zone A Workshop

Saturdays 10 am – 12 pm

An introduction to drawing techniques, including charcoal, graphite,  pen and ink and collage, artist and instructor Lado Pochkhua leads this workshop for parents and/or children, 8-16 years old.  [more]


Space Rental

Proteus Gowanus rents out all or some of its galleries for events, readings, photo shoots, product launches and parties. Our book- and art-filled rooms offer intimate spaces for gathering, as well as a larger area for presentations. [more]


Upcoming Events

Renowned Storyteller Martin Shaw Tells a Tale of Commerce

Monday, October 20, 7pm
Admission: $10

Join mythologist and storyteller Dr. Martin Shaw as he tells the eastern European story of “Faithful John” and provides commentary and discussion on its many layers. Shaw will pay particular attention to the relationship between initiation, commerce and the living world. [more]