Longwood Arts Project is the contemporary art program of the Bronx Council on the Arts. The Arts Project operates under the mission to support artists and their work, especially emerging artists and those from under-represented and under-resourced communities within the Bronx. Longwood Arts Project hosts exhibits and public programs that provide opportunities for free and open dialogue on arts and culture.
Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos is the main exhibition space of the Longwood Arts Project. The Gallery presents solo and group exhibitions of art produced in various mediums and through interdisciplinary practices that connect artists, communities, and ideas within and beyond the Bronx.
Initiated by the Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA) in 1981, Longwood Arts Project was founded in the former Public School 39 at 986 Longwood Avenue in the Bronx. The school was closed due to attrition of school-age children in the district at that time when the area was devastated physically and economically. Community leaders turned the unfortunate closure into an opportunity to help stabilize the neighborhood by developing it into a multi-service building for city agencies and non-profit organizations as its tenants.
BCA was an integral part of the transition in the neighborhood from literally being the poster child for late ’70s urban decay to what is actually an inspiring story of the rebirth of a community. The many blocks of new and rehabilitated homes are on sites where old tenements were torn down or left to fall apart. This building, located in a section of the South Bronx, has seen an incredible rise of new low-income housing to go with wonderful new parks and baseball fields.
Longwood Arts Project occupied 10 rooms on the second floor of the Longwood building from 1981 to 2002. From the onset, most of the rooms were turned into artist studios that were available as part of the Scholarship Studio Programs or at a subsidized rental fee. Past Resident Artists include Ernesto Pujol, MacArthur Award Winner Pepón Osorio, along with Tim Rollins & Kids of Survival (K.O.S.). In 1985 under the direction of artist Fred Wilson, the Project established the Longwood Arts Gallery with a strong commitment to presenting works by contemporary local, national, and international artists in its thematic and solo exhibitions. In 1991 a second gallery was created to focus specifically on Bronx-based artists. The exhibition program at the Gallery has addressed the urban condition, national and cultural identity, immigration, violence, racism, urban space, the environment, local Bronx history, and street and popular culture.
In the autumn of 2002, the PS 39 building at 965 Longwood Avenue was converted back into a school administered by the NYC Board of Education. In advance of the likely expansion of educational services at our longtime home, BCA made a strategic decision to find a new space, and develop new alliances with some old friends. In 2003, the Longwood Arts Project relocated and established a new exhibition program known as the Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos. Our partnership with the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture is on the campus of Hostos Community College at 450 Grand Concourse. This location has since become home, where we continue promoting the creative visions of our artists who work so hard to bring them to fruition within our communities.
Youth Engagement Program
Last spring, the Bronx Council on the Arts launched its much-awaited Youth Arts Engagement Program at Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos. This initiative seeks to increase Bronx youth’s awareness of local arts while encouraging youth to embark on a life of ongoing culture engagement they can relate to. Youth benefit from free, age-appropriate art activities that foster critical thinking, interviewing and public speaking skills.
For appointments, please contact Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos at 718-518-6728.