Artists and art patrons know Baxter St as New York’s oldest artist-run arts organization. Founded at the Camera Club in 1884, the organization hosted a facility and a creative community—of and for photographers to work with varying approaches to photography. Now located in the Chinatown neighborhood, the non-profit organization—helmed by its President, Michi Jigarjian, and Director, Libby Pratt—offers residences, an exhibition space, dynamic programming, and a creatively inspiring space for lens-based contemporary artists.
“At Baxter Street we are dedicated to providing a voice and platform for emerging and underrepresented lens-based artists in hopes to create a more inclusive contemporary visual culture,” continued Jigarjian.
Recently, the brand expanded its programming by opening a new space two doors down in partnership with East One Coffee Roasters. At both 126 and 128 Baxter Street, visitors can now support its programming alongside leaders like the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The Jerome Foundation, and Fujifilm of North America.
“Since 1884, when it was started as the Camera Club of New York, the organization’s mission has been to support the art of photography,” continued Jigarjian. “We are committed to not only upholding this historical mission but also expanding our programming to align with the ever-changing medium of photography and our community.”
Now on view through March 2 at the main gallery space at 126 Baxter Street is a solo exhibition by Elliott Jerome Brown Jr. entitled “a simple song.” With multimedia photographs and photo-sculptural works, the artist draws influences from the 1971 album I Wrote a Simple Song by Billy Preston. With this exhibition, Brown Jr. was also named a Baxter St Workspace Resident, given three months access to the International Center of Photography, and awarded an artist stipend.
And tomorrow, at the Angel Orensanz Foundation on Norfolk Street, Baxter St is hosting its second annual gala, STAND WITH US, to celebrate the organization’s ongoing efforts and to honor a selection of supporters and artists. Guests are looking forward to dancing among street-inspired décor, visiting the site-specific Baxter St Bodega, scratching off lotto tickets for their chance to win limited-edition prints, and grabbing a hot dog from the festive food truck cart.
“Our 2nd Annual STAND WITH US BeneFête is an opportunity for us to raise critical funds (and the roof), while celebrating culture and our amazing honorees, Sarah Arison, Jesse Chun, Allen Frame and José Parlá,” said Jigarjian. This event provides us a dynamic way to connect with all of our partners in the cultural community of NYC. This year we are paying homage to the 90s through our event design and talent line up, which includes legendary DJs Stretch + Bobbito, the Menahan Street Band featuring Black Thought from The Roots, THECouncil and Shari Loeffler. Good cause, good people, good party.”