299 Meserole 5

Big projects planned for this year’s Bushwick Open Studios don’t seem to have any luck. First, Bushwick Basel was canceled. Now we have been informed that the exciting new cultural center at 299 Meserole, the soft launch of which was planned for May 14 to culminate during Bushwick Open Studios weekend, is also in danger.

On Saturday, curator and promoter Peter Hopkins sent an email to the participants in which he “regretfully and with great sadness” stated that the center won’t be ready in time for Bushwick Open Studios due to rainstorms of the past days that left 1-2 inches of standing water in the main room. “It was something that in my 6 months of visits to the site I NEVER ONCE experienced. Coming one week before the installation of 200+ artworks, videos, paintings, sculptures, performances made this an IMPOSSIBLE scenario,” Peter wrote in his email. Another reason to postpone the launch of the cultural center was that “the owners [of 299 Meserole building] suddenly and with no warning (based on an event planners mis-use of the building last week for a party that went on until 6AM with 400 drunk party goers) demanded I provide them with EVENT insurance…which BY LAW is required for any assembly over 75 people,” Peter wrote in his email, “…that would cost me $40,000.”

299 Meserole was supposed to feature several exhibitions curated by local, as well as international galleries, feminist symposium/art installation Flower Garden and another Confronting Bushwick discussion panel. VCU School of Art, however, will still present an exhibition featuring the works of their sculpture grads. “They will be in an unaffected room,” Peter told us during Bushwick Frieze Night.

“…we were ready..but the building was not ready,” Peter Hopkins added with sorrow.