Once the location of Mike’s International Restaurant, 522 Flatbush Avenue has become host to a month long community art extravaganza. The first ten days of the exhibition is called “Between Neighbors” and features work from local artist Brian Fernandes-Halloran. PLOG stopped by the opening reception and spoke to the painter about his unique vision of the neighborhood.
“I started painting people around the area and realized that they were figures but not necessarily individuals to me. I wasn’t taking in my neighbors as much as I wanted,” said Fernandes-Halloran. “So my paintings started to change and became about the distance between us.”
The artist explained that his show began to transform into an opportunity to listen to locals and give them a chance to express themselves. In the gallery, visitors have the opportunity to write notes about experiences on their block, record videos in a “truth booth” and paint a message on a security gate.
“The gate is a metaphor for the transition of getting to know somebody,” he said. “It’s usually a symbol for ‘don’t enter.’ But as with people, sometimes you have to reposition yourself, walk around and be in a place where you can communicate openly.”
It took Fernandes-Halloran more than 18 months to secure a space by working with State Senator Eric Adams and organizations such as PLGNA and PLG Arts. And continuing with the theme of breaking down barriers, beginning October 30 the space will feature “The Neighborhood Show” which will include art pieces from dozens of residents, a craft market, live music and more. Be sure to stop by and take in the sights!