St. Louis’ Barrett Barrera Opens New Office in New York City
St. Louis native Susan Barrett of Barrett Barrera Projects seems to never rest. The president and founder of the arts organization has recently opened a brand-new office in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood, near the southern tip of Manhattan.
Working with a lineup of international artists, including hair artist Charlie Le Mindu, Fantich & Young and Hideki Seo, Barrett Barrera’s New York City-based office will allow artists the opportunity to connect with curators and other artists based in or traveling through the city.
“Barrett Barrera Projects is an agency that represents artists, builds critical mass around new understandings of art and consults on multiple levels, from development of talent to exhibition touring,” said Senior Director Todd Thomas in a previous interview for ALIVE in 2017. “The company represents a diverse mix of artists working in nontraditional media, including fashion, science and performance, and presents exhibitions that are equally nonconforming to a singular understandings.”
In a phone interview this month, Thomas confirms that the initial vision he described still holds true. “The New York office is really a satellite of the St. Louis office. And it gives Barrett Barrera the opportunity to have a physical presence in New York City, which opens up a number of connections and possibilities for our artists,” he says.
The organization searches out avant-garde artists who ache to redefine what art can be—artists who are pushing the limits and creating unique experiences for the viewer through their work. “To us, art is a verb,” Barrett writes on their website. “It is both process and product, creative and commercial, established and new. All matters equally.”
The organization is also in the process of developing a new, non-application-based residency program in which a senior leader finds an artist whom they feel redefines art as a verb. Together, the team then considers whether or not the artist would benefit from creating work in St. Louis, the organization’s headquarters, and collaborating with the city’s local artists.
Barrett Barrera’s most recent residency program included artist Paul Soileau, better known as drag queen Christeene, who lived in St. Louis to create new work and collaborated with artist Jess Dugan. The goal of the residency program is to give artists like Soileau the opportunity to become a part of the fabric of the city, collaborating while also having the time and space to create new work.
Barrett Barrera’s New York City outpost also just recently collaborated with SPRING/BREAK Art Show, a show that ran alongside the city’s Armory Show. Jessica Baran, associate director of curatorial and program development, selected several St. Louis-based artists whose work would appear, including St. Louis artists Lyndon Barrois, Jr., Addoley Dzegede, Jen Everett, Kahlil Robert Irving, Basil Kincaid, Katherine Simone Reynolds and WORK/PLAY.
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