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Tomato House

Rebecca Bird

Tomato House is an artist-run exhibition and performance space in the Ocean Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Details
TOMATO HOUSE is an artist-run exhibition and performance space in the Ocean Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, open since May 2012. It is operated by Rebecca Bird and Matthew Thurber and located in a ground floor storefront.  We are seeking funding to continue to present innovative and exciting programming.   

Our Mission is to advance public interest in the arts by presenting art in an underserved area, to offer exceptional emerging and under-represented artists an opportunity to exhibit their work, and to engage the local community through participation in the arts. Personal expression, play and experimentation are an integral part of our programming.  

Activities include mounting of exhibitions, affordable concerts and events, and free art classes for children.  Art is exhibited for sale in accordance with our mission of supporting the art community. Tomato House is open three days a week.  
 
Our audience
consists of visitors from the neighborhood and beyond. Our shows are family-friendly and accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds. For example, our inaugural exhibit "The Cat Show", a group show of art about cats, included a range of work from realistic painting to conceptual installation.  Parents in our neighborhood welcome our programs as an enriching experience they can share with their kids, and artists involved reach an audience that might not normally see contemporary art.   Tomato House is a forum for connections that might not happen anywhere else.  

The impact of our work is demonstrated by repeat visits from neighborhood residents to see exhibitions with their families.  Kids regularly visit to draw or look at art.  Hands-on activities and conversation with working professional artists teaches that art is an avenue of expression and a career-path that is available to them.   We are reaching an audience that may not regularly visit museums.  Our project is flexible and responsive: we make ourselves available to talk with whoever comes in.  

Our timeline 
In 2013 we will present ten solo and group exhibitions, series of monthly film screenings, performances and art classes; for a complete schedule of upcoming events please see our website; tomatohouse.org .

Tomato House exists to meet two needs that we saw in our community.  There was no art space of any kind in this area.  We also felt compelled to support exceptional new artists who don't have an audience because they haven't fit into a commercial art gallery context.  We felt that this art space needed to exist due to our wide-ranging enthusiasms, as well as our general dissatisfaction with the limited audience that the art world often reaches.