Atlantic City artists turn empty houses into pop-up art galleries

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – “Atlantic City should be somewhere that resonates with people as a place to go to enjoy the arts,” says Kate O’Malley. “So much of the incredible diversity and creativity that exists here is worthwhile and needs to be capitalized on.”

O’Malley is the newly minted Acting Director of the Atlantic City Arts Foundation. Their program, ARTeriors, looks for vacant or in-transit properties and uses them as a temporary canvas for art installations.

One of their transformations took place in 2015 on Tennessee Avenue in Atlantic City. Beth and Kurt Kwart, a couple who bought property in the townhouse, were inspired by what they saw there.

“We hope that this area will change,” says Beth. “And then we went to the ARTeriors event and it was unbelievable to see all the amazing art displayed in that abandoned building.”

As a result, Kwarts was inspired to acquire more properties in Atlantic City. Such was the case with the three-story home at 112 South Ocean Avenue, which they temporarily donated to the Atlantic City Art Foundation as the basis for the 8th ARTeriors installation.

“It’s the worst street in the area,” Kurt said. “There’s a lot of people coming in and they’re going to parole and people who break Megan’s Law and put them in rooms in all the individual houses.” “So we refused to do that. In the end, we were able to turn one into an Airbnb and it just kept growing from there.”

The plan is to turn the Ocean Avenue property into an Airbnb. But before the remodeling began, local artists had the opportunity to present in each of the different rooms.

“Because the house is fully furnished, the artists have the opportunity to take from the house and use existing pieces for the installation,” says O’Malley.

12 angry artists and six volunteers let their imaginations run wild. They painted a monstrous face on a couch in an ordinary living room, turned the kitchen into a relaxing disco, built a gallery out of beach trash, etc.

Randi Meekins, an artist from Brigantine, New Jersey, said: “You just throw a bunch of artists in one place and we’re okay, yeah, give us three days.

Visitors will have the opportunity to tour rooms such as Meekins’ black-light bathroom at the Atlantic City Hotel between now and November 21. Doors will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or by appointment.

“I think part of what makes the public art projects we do unique is that it’s temporary and it’s a moment where we all come together and create something new,” says O’Malley. come up with something great for our community,” said O’Malley. “Then it disappeared. So come see it while it’s here.”

To learn more about Atlantic City Arts Foundation or The Kwart . family’s Airbnb properties, visit their website.


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