FAQ for South(ern) Brooklyn, 2023

WAIT-- I get to KEEP it?

Yep. Everyone who sits for these 200 portraits gets to keep the painting after the final show comes down, ca. Summer, 2024.

Am I South(ern) Brooklyn?

Eligibility: you must reside in Brooklyn, SOUTH of Prospect Park, or work in a public-facing capacity 4+days/wk (ex: bartender, community organizer, beat cop, shopkeep, halal cart) as a face of the neighborhood.

How do I apply?

See that “APPLY” button up at the top? Click that thing. 😉 Fill out the form and click “submit”. That’s it.

How "FREE" is a free portrait?

FREE. We’re raising $113K  (11% funded so far!*) to fund the project for the year, & it costs about $500 to produce each painting. All are invited to donate, but no donation is required. The paintings belong to the people who sat for them, regardless, when the final show comes down.

*updated: 03/05/23

Can I donate and pick someone to receive a portrait?

Yes. you can secure one of these 200 paintings for you or someone you know with a tax-deductible donation of $250+ to support the project. These seed funds will get us started with the basics (studio rent, paint, picture frames, etc.). Limit: 20, & 1/person.

How are you funded? Did you get a grant or something?

We’re raising $113K for the year to cover studio rent, materials, frames, audio editing, and to keep our artist alive. We’ve raised $16K of our $113K goal so far (updated: 03/05/23). We’ve gotten a couple small grants, gracious support from local sponsors (Industry City, Artist & Craftsman, JCDP, Blick Art Materials) and from individual donors like you. <3

We run entirely on neighborly support, community partnership, and good will, and we thank you for considering making a tax-deductible donation today.

Is the whole year already booked? Can I still get in?

We only book out the calendar two weeks at a time, so it’s not just a picture of the 1st 200 people who heard about it. The application portal stays open all year, so if you just found out in December, you still got a shot.

Why do y'all ask for my age/race/gender/address/etc.?

To ensure that we faithfully reflect the demographics, cultures, and communities of the neighborhoods we cover– to get everyone in the picture, we keep track to make sure we don’t leave anyone out.

How many portraits will you paint this year?

200 FREE oil-painted portraits from life– with in-the-moment recorded oral histories– will be painted of South(ern) Brooklyn residents in 2023.

Why South(ern) Brooklyn?

Because Biggie never Big-upped Bensonhurst or Brighton Beach. Because Jay-Z ain’t shouted out Ditmas yet. Because Sunset Park has sunshine too, that y’all need to hear about. Because I tell Brooklynites that I live in Kensington, & they say “where’s that?”

Because it’s time to show this place some Love. <3

Where is your studio?

Our ADA-accessible studio is located in Industry City, our Host Sponsor for the year.

254 36th St, BK, NY 11232. Building 2, 2nd Fl, unit c249. D,N,R Trains to 36th St.

Do you paint from a photo or from life?

All portraits are painted from life. You come and sit in-person for a four-hour sitting (with lots of breaks, don’t worry.) 😉

Do I have to sit still?

We paint only your head and shoulders, so if you want to wiggle your feet and hands, you may. As we document your story, too, you can talk the entire time– except while we’re painting your mouth. then you zip it. 😉

What do I wear?

However you like– Hat, jewelry, glasses, tiara, up-do. It’s your portrait, and you keep it. It’s up to you.

It takes 4 hours? Daaaaaang, that's a long time to sit still!

Don’t worry– we take lots of breaks to stretch, snack, restroom, etc. during each 4.5 hr session.

Can I nominate my neighbor / my mom / the dude at the bodega?

Yes! 🙂 Nominate whoever makes this place what it is– fill out the entry form on their behalf to join the applicant pool.

Oh, snap! Ya know who you should paint?!

Tell us! Click ‘APPLY’ above to nominate a neighbor to receive a portrait.  Fill out the form on their behalf, or encourage them to sign up here.

I don't live in the area. How can I get a portrait painted?

Schedule permitting, outside commissions start at $1K. Or commission another artist! There’s lots of us out here.