A letter from Flux’s Director on 2016

Future site of the Windmill Community Garden, right across the street from Flux, where we’ll host public programs next year.

Flux is a slice of old-school NYC.  Like the 1960s’ “Flux Houses” in downtown Manhattan, our multidisciplinary family is prolific, socially engaged and scrappy.  Our nearly 50 artists-in-residence of 2015 produced just as many public events this year including group exhibitions, concerts, potlucks, panels, and the unclassifiable.  We commissioned dozens of new artworks (just Strobe Network itself included over 75 video artists), and we provided $30,000 for artistic work, in addition to providing the low-cost facilities and support that premise creativity.  Even before crunching all these numbers, we knew that Flux does more with less, and it’s all because we are a community that cares deeply about the singular civic role Flux performs.

Groups like Flux are an endangered species in today’s NYC, and the truth is that we’ve narrowly avoided displacement.  The day before Thanksgiving, Flux Factory signed a 5 year lease extension to remain in the Alfred Mainzer Greeting Card Factory.  We’re also very grateful to the Hyde & Watson Foundation for awarding us $9,000 to help patch up our building for coming years.  We love LIC and we’re thrilled to serve our neighborhood longterm.  This stability was hard-won and our real work toward permanent sustainability is just beginning.  We are setting a fundraising goal of $25,000 by 2017, and now is your first chance to join a revamped Friends of Flux program we’ll soon roll out in full force.  We aim to take Flux to a higher level, and we need your support to get there.

Fully tax-deductible support on the levels of $250, $500 or $1000 will make you a pilot Friends of Flux member, with overflowing thankfulness, perks & opportunities such as curator tours, studio visits, friends-only gifts and more.  Or donate any fully tax-deductible amount you like.

We’re pleased to announce that come Spring, we’ll partner in creating the Windmill Community Garden right across the street.  We can’t wait to host workshops, performances and cook-outs in a green space we’ll share with the Dutch Kills Civic Association, Growing Up Green Charter School, Newcomers High School & more neighbors.

In March, we’ll host the Fung Wah Biennial, a group exhibition taking place on Chinatown buses roving around DIY spaces in nearby cities.  This is just the first of four annual projects in which Flux will commission a group of artists to create new works on a theme – as always, our collectivist selection process uses an open call that includes artists both local and international, both emerging and established.

Even before we board those Chinatown buses, we’ll host new exhibitions and events produced by artists-in-residents Yi Zhou, Ariel Abrahams, Anna Bitkina & Maria Veits, Abigail Entsminger & Seth Larson, Gil Lopez, Ayden GroutTommy Nguyen, and Wieteke Heldens.  Meanwhile, Test Patterns co-curator Maddie Hewitt is headed to Claremont, France as part of a new partnership with Artistes En Residence — we’re building on Flux’s recent trip to St. Petersburg, Russia, to become an organization that routinely sends our artists out to the world.  We do not sleep much, to say the least!  Just last week, our current Residents met to select 20 new artists to interview among those who applied for 2016 residencies – we’re immensely excited to meet a group of folks diverse in creative practice and international in background, while commonly sharing a commitment to collectivism.

Roopa Vasudevan just wrapped up a Flux residency, during which she curated 3 exhibitions and created numerous artworks. Looking forward to her next Flux stint in Fall 2016!

On a more personal note — when I began working at Flux mid-2014, I knew I’d entered a deeply meaningful life course.  My love for Flux is only getting stronger as I’ve sounded the magnitude of what we do and can grow to achieve.  Just one wonderful friend I’ve made this year is Roopa Vasudevan — in her 3 month residency, she co-curated Hands Up, Test Patterns and our Flux-Artist-In-Residence group show, created many new artworks and even organized our secret santa!  Roopa shared a note with me: “Flux has been such a valuable place to me in the last couple of years. I really believe that I have met some of the best people in the world there, and have been incredibly fulfilled and productive throughout the duration of both my residencies. Curating the FAIR show this past Fall was such a treat because it gave me the chance to work with flux artists who I have known and admired from (quite literally) the first day I arrived, and I was so proud of the amazing and unique work that this crazy and talented group put together. Flux Factory holds an incredibly special place in my heart, and I’m looking forward to being just as involved in the future.”