Arts Gowanus is a not-for-profit organization working to support, promote, and advocate for local artists and a sustainable arts community in Brooklyn.

Artists have been making and showing their art in the industrial and commercial buildings of Gowanus for over 25 years. This Brooklyn neighborhood, wedged between the residential areas of Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Boerum Hill, has become under real estate development pressure over the past several years. At Arts Gowanus we believe that the diverse creativity of local artists contributes to the singularly vibrant cultural life and energy of New York City. And that it is critical not only for the artists, but also our society in general, that the arts continue to thrive in Gowanus.

To do this, we nurture relationships between individual artists, arts organizations, and the broader community:

  • Arts Gowanus organizes the Gowanus Open Studios event annually in October.

  • Arts Gowanus cultivates supportive artist-to-artist relationships through monthly networking and business meetings, a workshop series, and artistic collaborations.

  • Arts Gowanus connects artists to the greater Gowanus community through art events, business-artist collaborations, and community service in Brooklyn.

  • Arts Gowanus connects the world to the Gowanus community by organizing events to promote the arts in Gowanus, Brooklyn.

Arts Gowanus is a  501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Support for our work comes from individuals, businesses, government, and foundations. Join this amazing group of financial supporters, investing in the future of the arts and of Gowanus. 


Abby Subak, Executive Director

Abby Subak is a lifelong artist and maker. Growing up in the industrial city of Pittsburgh, PA, and now working in Gowanus, she seems destined to be surrounded by manufacturing and creativity. After a career in environmental organizing and non-profit management, Abby shifted her focus to art-making and now works out of her Brooklyn studio.  In 2012, she become the Director of Arts Gowanus and has helped the organization to grow and have an impact in our community.


Johnny Thornton, Program Director

Johnny Thornton is an artist that lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Born in Connecticut, he spent his childhood in Johannesburg, South Africa, before moving to Tucson, Arizona, where he studied Fine Arts at the University of Arizona. He received his Masters of Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design in New York City. Thornton has had work exhibited throughout the United States and is part of several collections. Currently, Thornton works out of his art studio in Gowanus and is the head Curator and Gallery Director at La Bodega Gallery and Gallery Director at Established Gallery in Brooklyn. In 2019, Thornton took on the role of Program Director of Arts Gowanus and is excited about working with an organization which supports the same creative community of which he is a part.

Donate now or send a check: Arts Gowanus, 540 President Street, Suite 2E, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or ideas:
(848) 225 7217