Mission & History

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Kentler International Drawing Space, founded 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.


Kentler is located in the diverse neighborhood Red Hook, Brooklyn. 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, inspiring, and challenging area of New York City.

The gallery is located in a storefront space facing Van Brunt Street, a busy commercial avenue. The building was erected in 1877 by the Kentler family and housed a men’s haberdashery serving Brooklyn seaport business workers. Today the neighborhood is a lively mix of diverse families, small businesses, creative collectives, waterfront parks and churches. Although Red Hook is geographically isolated, the gallery is located steps away from the B61 bus, attracting neighbors 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 250 artists, are housed in a showroom behind the gallery and are available for viewing by curators, collectors and the general public by appointment. Our new organizational website, which launched in February 2017, provides full online access to the Flatfiles collection as well as Kentler’s 27-year exhibition history.

Kentler hosts five rounds of exhibitions per year, including solo shows, guest-curated group shows, selections from the Flatfiles, and collaborative installations. Shows drawn from the international community have given many artists the opportunity to visit the United States and show 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.