If you thought the season for “top 10” lists was over, think again: a Bushwick art gallery, Fuchs Projects, has stirred up some controversy with its planned “Bushwick 200” list.
Last week, the gallery announced that it was set to identify “the 200 most influential people in Bushwick in 2016 in the Arts, Restaurants and Bars, Music, performing arts, Entertainment, Health, Real Estate, Gaming, Design and Hi-tech.” The “comprehensive list” of those who are “shaping the neighborhood of Bushwick” and “transforming the conventional” is being compiled “with the help of more than a dozen experts in different fields of art and commerce,” according to the gallery.
That might seem well-intentioned (and lord knows we’ve seen these lists before), but Facebook posts show it isn’t sitting well with some residents. “This event is really offensive to a lot of people in Bushwick,” writes Nicole Brydson, media artist and co-founder of a design and branding company that has created websites for Arts in Bushwick and others.
Kevin Perline, co-founder of the Tarot Society, chimed in.
Katie Hydell, a special education teacher, Bushwick resident, and anti-gentrification activist, also objected to the endeavor.
The founder of Fuchs Projects, Rafael Fuchs, has told us that he himself has had some “bitter incidents” involving real estate — hence his recent “LandLords” show. Here’s his response to the current criticism.
Among the most vocal critics of the Bushwick 200 project are Anthony Rosado, the Bushwick-born artist who, during Bushwick Open Studios, objected to the Bushwick Art Crit Group as a “predominantly white space” and eventually teamed up with the organization to put on an exhibit dedicated to neighborhood natives. Earlier today, he called for the cancelation of the list, which will be previewed this Friday at 6 p.m. at Fuchs Projects.
Yazmin Colon, founder of the Educated Little Monsters youth enrichment program and an outspoken anti-gentrification activist, also demanded that the list be shut down. Here’s a lively exchange she had with a neighborhood resident who didn’t have much of a problem with the Bushwick 200. Needless to say, Roberta’s was invoked.
There’s plenty more where this came from, and it looks like the debate is just heating up. Contrary to what our favorite satirical news site Burning Bush may think, this is no joke. Head over to the event page to get in on the conversation.