• Matt Stewart

Art Insights: Silver Art Projects' Lofty Mission Accomplished!

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

As a former New Yorker, lifelong aesthete and veteran arts writer, I was very excited to learn about the kickoff of Silver Art Projects' ( residency program. Founded last year by Cory Silverstein and Joshua Pulman, two art loving guys who met at the George Washington University School of Business, the non-profit Silver Art Projects, in partnership with Silverstein Properties (the developers extraordinaire of NYC's World Trade Center complex), will provide sponsored studio space each September to a group of committee selected artists. Additionally, the artists-in-residence will be able to tap into a variety of unique enrichment programs, including Portal, a collector-vetted, artist-focused e-commerce platform that allows them to broaden their networks and conduct business (something particularly important during the Covid-19 lockdown).

When Silver Art Projects announced this amazing program in 2019, they received more than 500 applications from around the world. A year later, the cohort of 25 artists are settling into their purpose-built studios on the 28th floor of 4 World Trade Center on a rolling basis, where they can work for up to eight months (a true godsend in rent crushing Manhattan). The stunning views that overlook the creative capital that is New York will no doubt provide these outstanding artists with unparalleled inspiration while they, in turn, bring their individual and collective energy and vitality to Lower Manhattan. Here Silverstein and Pulman share insights into Silver Art Projects' maiden voyage...

How did Silver Art Projects come about?

Cory Silverstein: Recently, we noticed that the artistic community is being pushed further into the other four boroughs due to the [lack of] affordable living and studio space. Joshua and I were both working in FiDi (New York's Financial District) and started brainstorming ways to integrate contemporary art and artists into Lower Manhattan. We spent two years thoughtfully planning, with the support of Silverstein Properties and our patrons, to make this space a reality. We are hopeful about the future of Silver Art and are thrilled to watch artists move in and begin creating in their studios in the sky.

What criteria were used to choose 25 artists from a pool of more than 500 international applicants?

Joshua Pulman: We assembled a panel of curators and critics, including Isolde Brielmaier, the inaugural Curator-at-Large at the International Center for Photography (ICP) and the national advisor for Unbail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW), a role in which she advises on artist projects and installations, cultural events, strategic and community partnerships across the organization; Nicola Vassell, Founder of Concept NV a curatorial agency that works with collectors like Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys; and Evan Moffitt, a writer, critic and Senior Editor of Frieze. The panel reviewed the applicants and selected Silver Art's inaugural cohort based on an artist's ability to create within the parameters of a large office building, [their] overall artistic practice, and potential to benefit from Silver Art's professional development program.

How do Silver Art Projects and Portal work in tandem to inspire and support the artists?

JP: Professional growth is a key touchstone of Silver Art Projects’ core mission. In light of the global circumstances we face today, we are proud to help bring an innovative digital solution to the cohort through a new partnership with Valorus Technologies.

Portal is a platform we developed for emerging artists to present and sell their works directly. Every Silver Art’s cohort has an artist page that showcases previous exhibitions, original videos that explain the artist’s practice and background and provides a virtual visit to their studio in the World Trade Center. Artists can offer their works for sale, allowing acquisition over the platform. For many artists who lost gallery representation through the pandemic, Portal will facilitate vetted patron relationships and process transactions online so that artists can focus on creating. We hope this exciting new concept compliments the working studio space by enabling a wider audience to discover, interact with and acquire works from the artists during their studio residency and beyond.

Portrait of Cory Silverstein and Joshua Pulman courtesy Silver Art Projects - Photo by Joe Woolhead. Studio photos courtesy of Silver Art Projects - by Joe Woolhead and Morgan Mein.

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