Terri Smith

December 30, 12:00 PM–12:00 AM

Franklin Street Works Closed Permanently in April 2020

The archive is in the process of being accessioned into the Purchase College Library

Franklin Street Works was open from September 2011 through April 2020. During that time we curated 34 original exhibitions, featuring a total of 415 artists and 130 educational programs. The archive at Purchase College will include  documentation, reviews, catalogs and more from FSW’s nine years.

While open, we were incredibly grateful to have collaborated with our visitors, our exhibiting artists, talented curators, partner organizations, interns, and members of our regional community who made Franklin Street Works such a vibrant space. We are especially thankful for the support of those of you in the Stamford area who regularly attended our events, explored our exhibitions, made generous donations, and dined at  our cafe. Together we created a caring, inquisitive, and welcoming space in which to explore contemporary art and cultivate community.

Franklin Street Works was one of the many small art spaces and galleries that closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many small arts organizations in the U.S. are scrappy and underfunded, and Franklin Street Works was no exception. The pandemic impacted our supporters, partners, and community, adding to existing financial pressures and creating insurmountable circumstances that have forced us to make this difficult decision. For more information about the closing, please read our press release.

We are proud of our history as an award-winning, nationally recognized art space at the forefront of contemporary art. While we exhibited artists at every stage of their careers, we are honored to have collaborated with and supported so many emerging artists, showing a significant number before they exhibited at higher profile venues like MoMA, the New Museum, SculptureCenter, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Opening in September 2011—the same month Occupy Wall Street took over Zuccotti Park—Franklin Street Works’ exhibitions and programs examined social, political, and aesthetic concerns through the lens of contemporary art. We cultivated a supportive platform for artists and curators, addressing themes such as feminism, disability justice, LGBTQ+, Blackness, and immigration. We consciously worked toward creating the most equitable organization possible, and, in 2019 were excited to implement new accessibility offerings for the public. Organizationally, we at FSW were examining how we could be more inclusive, including diversifying our board. We are grateful and indebted to all of the artists, curators, and collaborators over the years who shared their perspectives and suggestions on how we could better serve our collaborators and communities.

With our physical space closed, we believe it is important to preserve our legacy and we are thrilled that our digital and analog archive is being accessioned by the SUNY Purchase College Library. Read more HERE.
Thank you all, our community, for being part of the Franklin Street Works family! We hope that you will continue to support artists and arts organizations, especially those working to build a more integrous and inclusive art world.