Flux Factory, the beloved artist-led Queens nonprofit supporting emerging practices, will now inhabit two permanent locations in the borough. Yesterday, the organization announced the purchase of their longtime home at 29th Street as well as a brand-new satellite space at Gotham Point in Long Island City. Both acquisitions were made possible thanks to funds from the City of New York.
Since its founding in 1994, Flux has hosted more than 300 local and international artists for residencies and staged over 700 multidisciplinary exhibitions. The organization is perhaps best known for its unconventional, quirky programming that expands the definition of what art can be: initiatives such as “Long Walks on the Beach,” which paired strangers to promenade together on Rockaway’s sands, or an urban mushroom cultivation workshop that explored the “cultural importance of fungi.”
Each year, Flux Factory provides 40 artists-in-residence, known as “Fluxers,” with affordable studios and shared workspaces, such as a print and wood shops, and a solo exhibition; it also commissions 100 artworks annually through open calls and organizes four group shows. The satellite venue, Flux IV, will take up 3,000 square feet on the ground floor of Gotham Point’s South Tower, one of two new mixed-use residential developments on the Hunter’s Point waterfront, doubling the organization’s current public event capacity.
“We’ve constantly faced the threat of displacement, compromising our ability to support and promote artists most effectively,” said executive director Nat Roe in a statement.
Flux has rented its current headquarters at a converted greeting card factory in Long Island City since 2009, after losing its home in Sunnyside, Queens as a result of eminent domain. The nonprofit had been priced out of its first location, a former spice factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that had “no walls, source of water or HVAC,” in 2002.
While the purchase of the two locations is funded by the city, Flux has launched a fundraiser to cover startup expenses for the new space. The organization is hoping to raise $50,000 to help pay for a first round of public programs and hire a coordinator.
“With this sustainability comes new accountability: we have to find a way to grow into larger shoes through providing better artist stipends, expanded staff, and better equipment and facilities,” Roe said. “Support toward the pilot year of the Flux IV space will make all the difference toward doing full justice to Flux’s potential and avoid a threadbare reopening, risking stunted growth for years.”
Flux Factory is temporarily closed for renovations and will reopen next summer or fall, “never to close our doors again,” says the fundraiser page.