What is the cHURCH?

What is the cHURCH?

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Despite our trepidation about the influence of religion, and specifically the church, on politics, there is no doubt that the fostering of community is it’s strongest public contribution. We seek ideas from artists, writers, politicians, and input from neighbors. Although we are primarily a local Brooklyn gallery we accept proposals and have exhibited international artists in keeping with the global village concept. As evidenced by the variety and reach of our shows, we are truly “open source.”

In addition to our monthly exhibitions, on Sundays, we established the cHURCH OF MONIKA in 2010 with the intention of communicating and demonstrating the role art can and should have on community. Our experiences with the Soap Box Derby Camp and subsequent race, as well as our annual Soup Kitchen in December, have validated our desire to move forward in this direction. We are located in a Brooklyn neighborhood underserved by the arts and we hope to remedy the situation in whatever small way we can.

The cHURCH is a town hall type of meeting, rather than a sermon, with topics varying each week/month (in 2010 once a week, in 2012 once a month). Snacks and coffee are served, doubling the event’s function as it becomes an alternative to brunch.

The origin of our concept stems from our admiration of the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. This profound monument to the freedom and pursuit of self-reflection is a model of art as a surrogate for religion. We take a non-denominational and tolerant attitude and our hope is to build an alliance with people of all faiths and world-views. We suffer no delusions of grandeur, we only seek to inspire and be inspired by the art of life and community.

In keeping with a space inspired by the communities fostered around churches, our cHURCH has 11 commandments, which deal with universal themes that Open Source staff, board members and supporters view as important in art and programming at Open Source. Rather than having our commandments set in stone, these can (and have) changed over the years–and are always open to suggestions from our community.

11 Commandments of the cHURCH:
1. Everyone is born an artist.
2. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
3. Art-making requires community.
4. Diversity is integral to progressive art.
5. Freedom of speech is paramount.
6. Be true to yourself.
7. Art is a social instrument.
8. No person is an island.
9. Exclusive art limits growth.
10. Ideas spread by osmosis.
11. Art is open source.

View c*OM through 2023!