Speaking with Apostrophe NYC Founders and Curators Sei and Ki Smith

February 25, 2016

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We recently had the opportunity to meet up with Apostrophe founders and curators — Sei and Ki Smith  — and find out a bit about their plans for 2016:

Just what is Apostrophe?

Apostrophe began as a gallery and performance space in Bushwick in 2012, and it has since evolved into a series of pop-up exhibits and events. As a collective, it is designed to offer exposure to artists while sparking a creative energy that can be experienced by everyone.  Our last exhibit, Subway Show, took place at the Kosciusko Street stop on the J train.  The subway passengers, along with anyone else who came by, were treated to art, music, a comedic performance and refreshments!

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What about its name, Apostrophe?

Our concept came before the name. The name was inspired by the title of Frank Zappa’s eighteenth album Apostrophe’.  It suggests an inclusive fusion of energies.

What is Apostrophe’s current mission?

The mission of our current project Base 12 is to highlight the art of twelve talented artists in a dozen diverse, unconventional settings, while making their art accessible to folks who might not otherwise see it.  When art is shown exclusively in gallery settings, its audience can be limited.

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What kinds of alternative settings are you referring to?

Of the nine upcoming pop-up shows here in NYC, three will take place on subway platforms, three in museums and three in parks. They will all engage passersby in non-traditional ways. Details will  be announced the day of the event via Instagram and Facebook.

That sounds great! How did you select the artists?

Some had participated in exhibits in our former Bushwick space; others we met through friends. And some we discovered through our open call for submissions.  We’ve all gotten to know one another, and we all work well together.  Once a month we come together, and we critique each other’s artworks. We love not only the works of the artists we are showing, but their energy, as well!

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Do you both have a formal art education?

We both went to art school, but neither of us finished. We grew up, though, in a family of artists and have always engaged in art-related projects here and abroad.

What’s ahead?

In addition to what will be happening here in NYC, we are planning three exhibits and events abroad: at Alan Istanbul in Turkey; at corretger5 in Barcelona, and at a gallery space — to be announced — in London.

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It’s all very exciting!  Lots of luck! We will definitely keep posted to your Instagram.

Interview by Lois Stavsky with Houda Lazrak

Photo credits: 1 Lois Stavsky; 2-4 courtesy of Apostrophe; 5 Tara Murray

2  Subway Show 

3  James A Reyes, My Shorty

4  Sei Smith, Half Portrait No. 5

5  James Rubio, Black Flowers, close-up of public art work

Apostrophe’s Base 12 will also feature the works of Caslon BevingtonRyan Bock, Morell Cutler, Alana Dee Haynes, Kolter Hodgson, Charlie Hudson, The Love ChildJulia Powers and Bruno Smith

Note: Hailed in a range of media from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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