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


December 6, ’14 – February 22, ’15

On December 6, we will open our next Commerce exhibition, Labor, exploring questions of debt, invisible labor, minimum wage, manufacturing and the decline of industry. These concerns will be augmented with conversations and workshops on topics ranging from student debt to slavery to labors of love. A three-month Project In Residence by Meredith Degyansky entitled TimeDebt will be a part of the exhibition and include regular workshops. [more]

Archival Exhibits

Our exhibition spaces include archival installation that accrue and slowly evolve: Hall of the Gowanus and Reanimation 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 many 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.

Reanimation Library
Fixers’ Collective
Writhing Society
Hall of the Gowanus
bkbx [Brooklyn Box]
D’Amico Laboratory
Arts Gowanus


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

TimeDebt Workshops

Sunday, February 1, 3-6pm

TimeDebt services will be available every Sunday afternoon at Proteus Gowanus from Dec. 21 through Feb. 15. Come in for one-on-one consultations to evaluate your work life and seek alternatives with The Work Intern. [more]

Labor of Love: True Stories by Real People

Thursday, February 12, 7pm
$5 admission

We each have experience with the Labors of Love. So you will relate as some of New York City’s finest storytellers tell stories of how Love with a capital L has been Work with a capital W. [more]

The Past Is the Future: Economic Alternatives from Contemporary Maya

Sunday, February 15, 6pm
$5 admission

What is wealth? Social anthropologist Kristina Baines presents thoughts on the movement between a traditional reciprocal labor system to a cash economy, and back again in a Maya community in Belize. Kristina asks, “What does it mean to our health, heritage and future to use a cash-less system?” [more]