Broker, architect launch Soho art series

May.May 08, 2008 11:58 AM

A broker and architect who double as artists are launching a series of one-night art events tonight in an underground space in Soho.

Stribling broker Mary Mihelic, who co-curated the show with architect Caridad Sola, said they wanted to address the uneasy relationship between art and real estate. Artists are often pioneers into neighborhoods, she said, only to be followed by wealthier residents who drive up prices and eventually force the artists out.

Mihelic saw the subterranean gallery as a way to keep art in New York City.

“Once Manhattan loses its writers and artists and musicians it will become one big shopping mall,” she said.

Mihelic is one of 20 artists who will have their work on display at 100 Vandam Street from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. tonight.

The self-described guerrilla artist from Chicago built a crane in the space with a halo, in reference to the construction accidents in Manhattan.

It was not the only reference to the beleaguered Department of Buildings. She created an invitation for the event in the form of a DOB permit.

Co-curator and fellow artist Sola is an architect with Bovis Lend Lease who is working on the Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum.

She said she and Mihelic were lucky to come across the SoHo location. Even in the tight real estate market, unused properties are still scattered around the city, she said.

“There are so many vacant spaces sitting there doing nothing,” Sola said. 

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