George began with a slide registry in a filing cabinet in his Washington Heights apartment and by mounting guerilla exhibitions in donated spaces throughout New York City. As the registry grew, so did our footprint with exhibitions mounted in spaces including the United Nations, vacant Lower Eastside Storefronts, Columbia University, and commercial building lobbies. In 2002, we launched our Emerging Curators Program and, the following year, opened our first gallery space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. NURTUREart began its exhibition series by connecting emerging curators and emerging artists through our slide registry. Simultaneously, we launched our education program, initiated by board member Eliot Lable, which provided teaching and learning opportunities among artists and neighborhood school students.
After George’s retirement in 2006, long-standing board member Karen Marston took the helm as NURTUREart’s President of the Board. Our capacity increased as we moved successively to larger and more suitable homes—first to Grand Street in East Williamsburg from 2006–2011 and then to 56 Bogart Street in Bushwick, where we are located today.
Benjamin Evans—who joined the staff as Gallery Director in 2007—ushered in exciting and continuous growth. After his move to Paris in 2011, the staff grew in capacity to four people to provide support for our growth. Marco Antonini, the Executive Director & Curator from 2011–2016, elevated NURTUREart’s profile and deepened the quality of our programs, including the expansion of our programs to include live performances, publications, and video art festivals. Today, our staff includes Executive Director, Will Penrose; Development Director, Eliza Stamps; Education Director, Molly O’Brien; and Gallery Manager, Ivan Gilbert.
With the collaboration of an energetic staff, board, and many dedicated volunteers, NURTUREart’s programs have flourished throughout our history. We continue to transform the lives of emerging artists, emerging curators, and local public school students. We nourish creativity and strengthen dynamic communities by offering resources, support, and platforms through our programs to participants and audiences. As we go forward, we are committed to continuing to make strides to sustain and integrate our programs, deepen our work, and expand our impact.
Photo: Founder, George Robinson, at the first NURTUREart Gallery