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In May, 2010, Philly-raised recent RISD grad Ashley Zelinskie moved to Brooklyn to pursue her new media art practice. By early 2011 she’d not only found a studio for herself, but an entire floor of studios and exhibition spaces in a non-descript Johnson Avenue warehouse. In February, The Active Space hosted its first set of exhibitions and open studios, marking a unique and immense addition to the Bushwick gallery scene.
The palpable giddiness on opening night had something to do with the size and polish of the space, but also the atmosphere that Zelinskie, its director, has managed to foster at 566 Johnson Avenue. “I teamed up with the landlord, David Welner,” she explains, “and we decided to create a professional studio environment as well as exhibition space for artists in all stages of their careers.” Since then she and Welner have converted another floor for a total of 27 studios, and they’ve just begun renovating the ground floor into more studios and exhibition spaces. “It’s like having all the benefits of art school without the exorbitant price tag.” (Photos by Crystal Gwyn)