Mari Renwick, artist
by Daniel Bush
Aug 31, 2010 | 4787 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mari Renwick has been making art of one kind or another in Gowanus for the past 20 years. The neighborhood, it seems, has finally caught up with her.

With the blossoming arts scene come many perks, among them inexpensive work space at Brooklyn Artists Gym (BAG), a studio and gallery at 168 7th Street that rents space to local artists. Local artists like Renwick have jumped at the opportunity to work close to home.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Renwick studied at the Art Institute of Atlanta before moving back to the East Coast. Last year, after she tired of making the trek to an upstate arts studio, Renwick searched for a local solution and came up with BAG.

Renwick said she needed a change to jump-start her career. Finding an affordable studio close to home was the very thing, though BAG was unlike anything she had experienced before.

“It's really challenging to work in a big open space” in full view of other artists, she said. “If I'm experimenting at all I don't want anybody to see.” Luckily, Renwick quickly found BAG places a premium on privacy, if that is what an artist needs.

Other challenges aside, Renwick, who works in several mediums, has found the space - and especially its rooftop views - an inspiration.

Her substantial portfolio now includes bright street scenes and rooftop landscapes of Gowanus, which has retained its gritty industrial charm even as artists start to remake the neighborhood with restaurants, bars and the occasional art gallery.

“I've been in the neighborhood for a long time and you watch as it grows,” she said. “It still has a certain funky industrial quality. That's part of its appeal and I don't think that can change too much.”

Renwick has shown her work in the past and sells it at arts markets and online through her website.

She said her goal is landing a solo exhibition. “That's the next step,” she said, “to have a show of just my own work somehow.”

For more information visit her website.

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