Mission & History

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MISSION:

Kentler International Drawing Space, founded by two artists in 1990, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing contemporary drawings and works on paper by emerging and under-recognized national and international artists to the public, and to providing the opportunity to experiment, explore and expand the definition of art in society. Our programs include Exhibitions & Events, K.I.D.S. Art Education and the Kentler Flatfiles.

HISTORY:

Kentler International Drawing Space, located in Red Hook, Brooklyn, is dedicated to bringing important and timely contemporary drawings and works on paper to the public by local, national and international artists, as part of the cultural fabric of the community.  Founded by artists Florence Neal and Scott Pfaffman, Kentler opened its doors in April 1990 and quickly became the focus of a burgeoning artists community in this historic and inspiring, yet challenging area of the New York City.

The gallery is located in a storefront space facing Van Brunt Street, a busy commercial avenue. The building was built in 1877 by the Kentler family as a men’s haberdashery which served the Brooklyn seaport business workers. Today the neighborhood is a lively mix of Black, Hispanic, Italian, and Irish families, public schools, parks, waterfront piers and churches. The gallery is especially accessible to the public, as its glass doors face a bus stop, attracting notice and visitors who would otherwise have little opportunity to meet artists or see new works of art. The Kentler Flatfiles, consisting of drawings and works on paper by over 240 artists, are housed in a showroom behind the gallery and are available for viewing by curators, collectors and the general public by appointment.

Kentler hosts five rounds of exhibitions per year including solo shows, guest-curated group shows, and site-specific installations by some of New York’s most exciting emerging and under-recognized artists. Shows drawn from the international community have given traveling artists an opportunity to visit America and bring their work to a New York audience. The gallery is open to the public Thursday through Sunday from 12 – 5pm. Exhibition dates, hours and related events are available on the Events page.