The Invisible Dog Art Center opened in October, 2009, a raw space in a vast converted factory building with a charmed history and an open-ended mission: to create, from the ground up, a new kind of interdisciplinary arts center. Over the last two years, over 50,000 people have attended our events: visual art exhibits; dance, theater, and music performances; film screenings; literary arts and poetry readings; lectures; community events; and more.
Long-term collaborations with artists are integral to The Invisible Dog’s mission, which is to create not only a new kind of art center, but also a new kind of artistic community.
The Invisible Dog brings together artists of all career stages, offering them unique opportunities for involvement. Over the last two years, the art center has evolved organically, developing with and alongside its diverse roster of collaborators.
Neither a commercial gallery nor a concept-driven non-profit, The Invisible Dog has a unique role in the New York arts scene. It has become a place where artists working in all media can do things they wouldn’t be able to do anywhere else in New York. The Invisible Dog’s core values of experimentation and collaboration are kept in view throughout the curatorial process, and as a result, our artists are freer and more autonomous than is typical.
The building at 51 Bergen Street is integral to The Invisible Dog’s identity. Built in the late 1800s, the 30,000 square-foot building housed working factories until the 1990s, when the last factory shut down, and the detritus from 100 years of industry was left to rot. The building was unused until 2008, when it was discovered by Lucien Zayan. The last factory, which made belts, had a hit in the 1960s with the “invisible dog” party trick, which gave the nascent art center its name.