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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tom Gilmour, Executive Director,
Trenton Downtown Association
Gail Rose, Ananta Creative Group
The welcoming space, which made the arts accessible to all through free, innovative programming and exhibitions, will leave a long-lasting impact on Trenton's creative district.
TRENTON, NJ, July 23, 2020--After three years and 27 exhibitions, the BSB Gallery in Trenton will be closing its doors at the conclusion of the current exhibit on August 1, 2020. "As hard as we tried, we were unable to sustain its operation," says Tom Gilmour, executive director of Trenton Downtown Association (TDA), which operates the gallery. Over the past several months, TDA has had to cancel its special events, which generated a significant portion of the income needed to support the gallery and its free programming and exhibitions.
Since the day the gallery opened, in the former Broad Street Bank Building on State Street, it has served as a welcoming education and community center, as well as a magnificent space for contemporary art. The space provided an environment for wonderful things to happen. It inspired artists to create something special, and it encouraged people to stop in just to be a part of it.
In addition to the BSB Gallery, TDA provides a number of cultural programs and events designed to promote the revitalization of New Jersey's Capital City. "I am a believer that the arts are an important economic driver and that we will be back," Gilmour stresses. "We are sincerely grateful to everyone who participated and supported the BSB Gallery, from its patrons to its dedicated staff and beneficiaries. Together we created a platform that promoted and recognized the extraordinary arts and artists in Trenton, a city whose affordable studio and living space, along with its community-focused entrepreneurial spirit, continues to attract more and more creative talent," he adds. We are grateful for all the hard work and dedication of our two curators Christy O'Connor and Aine Mickey.
Co-curator Christy O'Connor is especially proud not only of the quality of work exhibited, but also that "we were able to provide an art space to people who might not otherwise have had access to one."
O'Connor is an artist, curator and arts activist. She and co-curator Áine Mickey made a point to showcase the work of both local and regional artists, and both new and seasoned artists.
"We gave so many new artists the chance, and the confidence, to be in their first show. You have to think of that as the equivalent of your first job. Everyone needs to be in that one first show to get them started, to dip their toes into the world of exhibiting," says Mickey, herself a Trenton-born artist and fine arts photographer and editor. "It's so rewarding to mentor and support other artists."
The two, who didn't know each other when the gallery opened, but became good friends and a powerhouse co-curating team, were continually coming up with innovative ideas for new community events, artists meetups, portfolio reviews, knitting classes and other workshops. Since the start of the pandemic, all of their programming as well as their exhibitions went online.
"The response to our Zoom and live streaming social media events has been incredible. We've been able to reach and connect with so many more people than we normally would have. These are times people need the arts the most. I am glad we could be there for them," adds O'Connor.
Virtual gallery tours and exhibitions, including the current "Free Enterprise," have also been well received. "Free Enterprise" discusses capitalism, its effects and the ever-growing controversy of the American Dream through the creative lens of regional and international and multidisciplinary artists. The show runs through the end of the month. They are hoping to sell some pieces to help support the artists. You can view the exhibit at bsbgallery.com.
"Our goal was to curate meaningful, impactful exhibitions that got people to think," says Mickey. "And to create a welcoming space where people wanted to be. Anyone can enjoy art."
The BSB Gallery played a significant role in expanding awareness of all the great art being created in Trenton. "While this loss will be felt by many, there is no question that what Christy and Áine achieved will have a lasting impact on the Trenton arts scene and community," adds Gilmour.
For more information about the gallery and its last exhibition, visit bsbgallery.com. For more information about the gallery closing, please contact Tom Gilmour at 908.489.8820 or
BSB Gallery is a 501(c)3 nonprofit contemporary art space located in downtown Trenton, established in 2018. It is our mission to cultivate creativity and community by offering exhibition, education and networking opportunities for artists and curators. We strive to strengthen the local community by making the arts accessible and welcoming for all of Trenton's residents. This is achieved through art exhibitions, community events and various workshops offered throughout the year.
BSB Gallery is supported by the Trenton Downtown Association from grant funding generously provided by the George H. and Estelle M. Sands Foundation and by Isles, Inc. with support from the New Jersey Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program.
About the Trenton Downtown Association:
The Trenton Downtown Association (TDA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making the capital city a more competitive location for business owners and an engaging center for workers, residents and visitors. Since 1986, TDA has offered programs that promote economic growth and investment in New Jersey's capital city. Our staff is involved in business recruitment and retention, public relations, advocacy, marketing support, referrals, partnership development and job creation. TDA also hosts events like the Capital City Farmers' Market, the Levitt AMP Trenton Music Series and Patriots Week to attract visitors to experience the current growth happening in the downtown. Through maintenance of a clean and safe commercial district, support for the arts and cultural heritage, promotion and public policy planning, the Trenton Downtown Association is leading the revitalization of the City of Trenton.