Open Source is a Brooklyn based non-profit that serves as a nexus for contemporary art and local neighborhood cultures, with a history of supporting emerging artists who through the development of new works challenge how, when, and where contemporary art intersects and integrates with the everyday lives of everyday people. We place strong emphasis on public socially engaged artwork, sustainable communities, and social justice.
Impacted by the open source initiative and its success with communal development on the internet, Monika Wuhrer and Gary Baldwin founded the not-for-profit project in 2008. Since its inception we have presented contemporary painting, installation, sculpture, new-media, and performance art. Open Source also organizes participatory events like the Soap Box Derby and camp. A workshop where kids build soapbox cars out of recycled materials found by scavenging the neighborhood for parts. We offer “soup kitchens” in the month of december and hold the cHURCH OF MONIKA on Sundays. These events are forums for discussing art and it manifestations in a casual setting.
Ultimately, we believe that “art is where you find it.” One doesn’t decide to be an artist or an art lover, rather, one realizes that they are and that art is nothing to be intimidated by but something to be embraced. Nobody should control or profit by art more than anyone else who seeks its power to help understand ourselves. We are, in our small way, “occupying art.”
In November of 2010 a 5-alarm fire in the gallery’s neighboring building devastated the Open Source project space. After six months of being itinerant, we now have a new permanent space in Park Slope, at 306 17th St. Brooklyn, NY 11215.
Gary Baldwin and Monika Wuhrer are parents of Oskar, Hugo, and Peter. After receiving a Bachelor of the Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Gary came to New York City in 1994 to study at the School of Visual Arts, where he earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Photography and related media. Monika is from Austria, and after studying in Milan, Italy, returned to her native country where she completed her Masters of the Arts in sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna.
Rebecca Zakheim is Open Source’s children’s programming coordinator. She joined Open Source in 2012 as a counselor for the Soap Box Workshop and Derby. Rebecca is very involved in the programming and administration at Open Source, while also teaching the Bitbots after school program multiple times a week. She is a high school graduate pursuing a self-directed education.
Shauna Sorensen is Open Source’s development coordinator. Shauna joined Open Source in 2012. She is currently pursuing an MA degree in art history at CUNY Hunter College. Shauna also works with Ligo Project on their Art of Science program, which focuses on making science accessible through art.