Proteus Gowanus Closing After 10 Years


Dear Friends!

It is with a sense of celebration and sadness that we announce that Proteus Gowanus will close its doors on June 28th, 2015 after ten years of creative exploration on our beloved Gowanus Canal.

As our namesake and muse, Proteus the Greek sea god, would say, “It’s time for a change!”

According to the Proteus myth, if you hold tight to the god through all his changing forms he will return to his true shape and tell you what you want to know. We have held on tight for ten years of morphing projects, exhibitions, publications, workshops, events and conversations. And Proteus has shown us more things than we ever imagined.

From the beginning, Proteus Gowanus has been an inclusive place of creative collaboration. For us, and we hope for you too, it has been a joyful experience. You all have been integral to this process, coming in to engage in conversation, exchange ideas and get involved.

We have so many to thank for the range and depth of these experiences over the years:

  • The generous supporters who stepped forward when Sasha founded the gallery in 2005, and those who have joined us throughout our journey to create a unique, interdisciplinary outpost whose warmth and humanity have welcomed thousands.
  • The many artists, writers, scientists, anthropologists, historians and workers in other disciplines who have considered Proteus Gowanus their creative home, enriching our exhibitions and programs with their ideas and work.
  • And all of our community – friends and strangers alike –  whose wisdom and knowledge we have happily depended on to guide us forward.

There is a certain pressure that arises for small, independent projects to balance creative impulse with the inevitable pull towards institutional growth. We hope our decision, made with careful consideration, to freely let go at the height of our creative powers will inspire new small, cultural organizations to step forward.

Over the years, we are proud to have nurtured or spawned eleven arts organizations or projects under the Proteus umbrella, some of which we leave in our wake: Fixers Collective, Hall of Gowanus, Reanimation Library, Museum of Matches, Observatory, Morbid Anatomy Library (now museum), bkbx [Brooklyn box], the Writhing Society, Proteotypes, D’Amico Laboratory Collective, and Arts Gowanus.

Come visit us in the coming weeks for a last good look and conversation. Our current and final exhibition, Gowanus Marketplace, as well as our Projects-in-Residence, will be open through June 28th. We would love to see you!

And please collaborate with us one more time! We plan to document Proteus from its opening in 2005 to today. Share with us any thoughts, memories or images of your Protean experiences and of the ways our creative process stimulated yours.

Though we are closing our doors, Proteus may morph into new forms – perhaps in the cloud as Proteus Cumulus! We will keep you posted.

Lastly, we would like to invite you to join us for a closing party in mid-July (more details to come!)

With our deepest affection and respect,

Tammy and Sasha

proteus struggle