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 under the art direction of Monika Wuhrer Open Source has 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.
Monika Wuhrer 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. She moved to NY in 1999. Monika and Gary Baldwin are parents of Oskar, Hugo, and Peter.
Rebecca Zakheim is Open Source’s children’s programming director. 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 director. Shauna joined Open Source in 2012. She is currently pursuing an MA degree in art history at CUNY Hunter College. Shauna is an artist who also works with Ligo Project on their Art of Science program, which focuses on making science accessible through art.
Natalie Yanke is Open Source’s research assistant. Natalie graduated from New York University in 2013 with her BA in art history. She previously worked in the commercial sector as an art appraiser before deciding to pursue a career in the non-profit world. Natalie is passionate about expanding art to reach a wider community.
Taylor Neal is Open Source’s social media assistant. She is currently pursuing her BA in art history at New York University.