On Friday, March 15, Jackie Cantwell and Molly Myer debuted a brand-new art space in Bed-Stuy called The Bishop along with the opening of an art exhibit entitled, "Six Degrees of Separation."
The Bishop, located at 916 Bedford Avenue between Myrtle and Willoughby avenues, will serve as an art incubator for area residents to use for creative programs, artists showcases, philanthropic activities or educational workshops.
The exhibit, "Six Degrees of Separation" plays on the idea that everyone is six or fewer steps away from any other person in the world, so that a chain of statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.
In this exhibit, all of the artists showing are connected by having lived, gone to school, or taught in Richmond, Virginia, where Cantwell attended art school as an undergraduate student.
Cantwell and Myer, both graduate students at Pratt Institute met two years ago. Cantwell came up with the idea to open the gallery after working with a group of artists out of Washington, DC, who owned an art gallery called The Lamont Bishop Gallery, named after the late Lamont Bishop, a man who inspired the artists to go after their dreams.
"[My friends from Washington, DC] said they had this great space (in Bed-Stuy)," said Cantwell. "Once I met Molly, I knew we worked well together, and we felt this would be a great place to have a community art space, because Bed-Stuy needed it."
"Almost a year and a half later, we are here on opening night and ready to go!" Myer added.
"Six Degrees of Separation" showcases the works of Valerie Molnar, Andrew Kozlowski, Nicole Andreoni, Jamie Felton, Roberto Jamora, Brooke Inman, Carlton Morgan and Paul Koneazny.
Cantwell and Myers say they plan to rotate new exhibitions every 4-6 weeks, profiling local artists. And they hope to keep the space open and available to the public as long as they can raise the funds to do so.
"We want to showcase awesome fine arts and also provide an educational component," said Myers. "We just want the space to be available to the community for rentals, readings, plays, band practices, whatever you want to do in the arts... that's why we're here."