News

Hurricane Sandy Report, 3 Days After [UPDATE 17]

by Hrag Vartanian on November 1, 2012

Now, three days after Post-tropical Cylcone Sandy ripped through New York City and the surrounding areas the city is slowly recovering and while power hasn’t been restored to most of lower Manhattan and other neighborhoods in South Brooklyn, Staten Island, Long Island, and New Jersey, there is a sense that the worst is over.

Unfortunately, the news out of the art districts isn’t as reassuring. The destruction in Chelsea and the Lower East Side appears to be worse than many people initially feared, and thousands of art works have been destroyed or badly damaged as a result of the storm.

Today, we continue our aggregation of Sandy-related news. If you have any information, photos, news, or commentary, please post them in the comments below or email us at tips [at] hyperallergic.com.

UPDATE 1: While most of the post-Sandy news is coming out of New York, the surrounding areas were often harder hit.

Original photos from the Keyport Historical Society’s Facebook page (via facebook.com/Keyport-Historical-Society)

In Marlboro-Colts Neck, New Jersey, the Keyport Historical Society’s Steamboat Museum is now a “pile of shingles, wood, and historic artifacts,” according to Patch. A public art installation made up of large mosaics has also disappeared.

UPDATE 2: The Kitchen, which is located at 512 West 19th Street in Chelsea, tweeted the following message, indicating that there is serious damage to their facilities:

UPDATE 3: The Brooklyn Arts Council just announced that they will be closed until power is fully restored to their building in Dumbo, Brooklyn. They also include a list of resources for artists and others impacted by the flood and they also announced the deadlines for the SPARC Residency and the Arts Education Partner Grant has also been extended.

As a reminder, the following application deadlines have been extended due to Sandy:

SPARC Residency: The deadline has been extended to Monday, November 5.
Arts Education Partner Grant: The deadline has been extended to Thursday, November 15.

Disaster Relief Support

We compiled a short list of disaster relief resources for artists and arts organizations that have been making the rounds around the web. If you hear of/know about other resources, please let us know about them by posting on our Facebook page or sending an email to Sara at sderose@brooklynartscouncil.org.

  • The Council on Foundations has a good list of grantmakers who offer disaster relief support.
  • Craft Emergency Relief Fund has a wealth of resources for artists who sustained damage due to Sandy.
  • Arts Ready has solutions for organizations to prepare continuity plans for post-crisis sustainability.
  • Fundraising consulting company Benevon is holding a free conference call, Fundraising After Hurricane Sandy, on November 5
  • Brokelyn compiled a handy list of resources for finding flood damage relief sustained to personal property, which is useful to artists.
  • Hyperallergic also compiled a list of disaster relief resources available to the arts community.

UPDATE 4: Dia director Philippe Vergne just sent an email explaining that the Beacon museum and offices will remain on their normal November hours but the Soho and Chelsea spaces will be closed until further notice. They also explain that they deinstalled Thomas Hirschhorn’s “Timeline: Works in Public Space: work before the storm struck:

Dia:Beacon is open on our normal November schedule (Thursday-Monday, 11 am-4 pm). The administrative offices at Dia:Beacon are also open this week.

Unfortunately, our administrative offices in Chelsea and Dia’s Soho sites, The New York Earth Room and The Broken Kilometer, are still without power, like most of downtown Manhattan. They will remain closed until further notice. In advance of the storm, we deinstalled Thomas Hirschhorn’s Timeline: Works in Public Space, which was scheduled to be open until Sunday in our project space on West 22nd Street. We hope you had the chance to previously experience the work, and we look forward to collaborating with Hirschhorn in summer 2013 on his commission with Dia, Gramsci Monument.

 UPDATE 5: Printed Matter has Instagrammed some of the water damage to their merchandise:

UPDATE 6: White Columns responded to our query about conditions at their 323 West 13th Street space and they responded:

We only lost power and the gallery will reopen when power is restored to Lower Manhattan.

UPDATE 7: Late last night, Hyperallergic reader Shelly Bahl has reached out to inform us that she was horrified to learn that her artwork storage in Chelsea has been fully flooded “to the ceiling,” she says. The storage facility is located in the basement of 526 West 26th Street and she is not alone. “everything inside — lots of artworks by various artists and galleries & other items are all destroyed. I cannot get access — only emergency crews are there now to pump out the water. I cannot yet fully comprehend the loss.”

I asked her to elaborate and she provided the following explanation (it has been edited for clarity):

I cannot access the building & all I know is that the basement was flooded to the ceiling. Today the building manager said that there was at least 4 ft of water, and that they were using industrial pumps to get it out.

A friend, michael buckland, is helping out various galleries in the area and saw the damage in person. He says that the area is dark and inaccessible, and only an emergency crew is allowed in. He says that many galleries and artists have artworks down there but it is a total mess & nothing will be salvageable.

I had many works on paper stored there along with other mixed-media works and studio materials. I am assuming that it is all destroyed now.

I am still in a state of shock and horror, and I have to leave for a show in Chicago tomorrow morning (if the airports are back in business). I don’t know what I will be facing when I return in a few days.

UPDATE 8: Artist Michael Neff sent us links to his Flickr set “Hurricane Sandy vs. The Chelsea Art World” which includes photos of the post-Sandy damage in the world’s premiere art district. “I wanted to share photos I shot today as I walked through the devastation that is Chelsea,” he explained in his email to us.

UPDATE 9: Tina Roth Eisenberg (aka design blogger Swissmiss) just tweeted that the Galapagos Art Space in Dumbo has sustained $80,000 in damage from Sandy and they are looking to raise funds to rebuild:

The online fundraiser has so far raised $3,300 dollars.

UPDATE 10: The Leslie + Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art just sent out an email notice explaining:

Power is still out on Lower Manhattan, which means the Museum remain closed until further notice. There were no damages to the Museum or the collection.

UPDATE 11: The Brooklyn Museum escaped the hurricane relatively unscathed, only suffering some breakdowns in telephone and email service. This weekend’s Target First Saturday at the museum will proceed, but it will end earlier at 9 pm instead of 11 pm to allow for safe travels home.

powerHouse books (via Jennifer McHenry)

UPDATE 12: powerHouse books in DUMBO wasn’t so lucky. The water rose to 28 inches in the store, and the glass front door is cracked. As the tragic photo seen at left shows, they have been bagging damaged books and dumping them on the sidewalk.

UPDATE 13: The more details are coming out as far as damage in Chelsea, and they don’t look pretty. The New York Times has an extensive report on gallery damage, with David Zwirner noting that he had moved much of his art to a warehouse in Queens, though the gallery was “hit hard.” Chambers Fine Art got two feet of water, while Zach Feuer said that only two percent of his inventory had escaped damage.

Rachel Churner of Churner & Churner gave a very telling response to the Times:

“We must have had at least five feet of water in the basement,” Ms. Churner said. “To be honest with you, we’re not even sure yet what happened down there.”

“There’s a lot of stuff that’s just not going to be salvageable,” she said, adding that among the pieces destroyed were works from her own collection. “The fury of the water was tremendous. We were definitely caught off guard.” Like most other galleries, hers will remain closed at least until the power comes back on and probably for many days after that. “Then we’ll start our mammoth insurance claim and try to go from there.”

The article also reveals some interesting info about the Gagosian galleries. The gallerist explained that his 21st Street space had four feet of water, while the 24th Street location had just a few inches. “We moved a lot of art high up on the walls before the storm,” Gagosian said. Elizabeth Dee saw no damage to artwork.

UPDATE 14: In a Scene & Herd post that is miraculously without snark, Linda Yablonsky tallies up the damage to NYC galleries. There’s a tear-inducing shot of Carl Andre tiles leaned up to dry outside Paula Cooper gallery. Andrea Rosen and Luhring Augustine galleries had been flooded before, and so took special precaution. Yablonsky suggests FEMA might come through for a few galleries.

And there’s this … is the “idea” of Chelsea over or are people just being dramatic:

“Maybe the idea of Chelsea isn’t so good after all,” said Stefania Bortolami, whose gallery was drenched by the flood. She had just taken delivery of a generator supplied by a friend of Anton Kern’s, who drove a pair of them from upstate for each of them. “I paid $2,000,” she said, “and it did not come with oil or gas.”

UPDATE 15: Artist Dustin Yellin’s The Intercourse gallery space and Kidd Yellin artist community in Red Hook seems to have been one of the art spaces worst hit by the storm. A Gallerist NY piece tells of the disarray, which includes destroyed art, ruined studio spaces, and a water line five feet up the wall. Incredibly sad.

UPDATE 16: We’re happy to report that our report on Rachel Beach, whose studio was destroyed by Sandy, inspired Andrew Porter of the Lower East Side Printshop to organize an effort to collect donations in the form of Home Depot gift cards for Beach. He writes:

I’ve never met her, but I own a small piece of hers that she donated to a charity auction Kehinde Wiley hosted to help defray artist Scott Andresen’s medical bills after he was hit by a car in 2010.

Anyway, I cannot imagine how devastating this must be.

While a lot of what she lost is irreplaceable, I was thinking it might be nice to send her some Home Depot e-gift cards online to help her defray the cost of rebuilding her practice and her studio.

Please donate if you can.

UPDATE 17: Smack Mellon reports in an email that their artist-in-residence studio spaces were flooded with six feet of water, destroying all of their contents. They are hoping to relocate their artists as quickly as possible so they can keep working on their projects in development. Help them out with a donation here.

 

  • Subscribe to the Hyperallergic newsletter!

Hyperallergic welcomes comments and a lively discussion, but comments are moderated after being posted. For more details please read our comment policy.
  • http://twitter.com/jackomo Jaki Levy

    Has there been any coordinated effort to cleanup Chelsea galleries or other spaces?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BEAXWPFMBMXNC2ARJSL5RCT27A sdfgjh

    it saddens me to read how unprepared these spaces were. they knew it was coming. the woman with the generator should have known that you supply your own fuel for it. If it’s not a commercial generator, then it’s up to you to fuel it up.

Previous post:

Next post: