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Manhattan Mini Storage Art Exhibit Features Works Kept in Self-Storage Units

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Manhattan Mini Storage, which operates 17 self-storage facilities throughout New York City, has partnered with community art group No Longer Empty to present works of art stored at its locations in a multi-tiered exhibition called “Fresh Out of Storage.” The project includes an online presentation of works from all 35 artists who made submissions, a video documentary titled “Open Storage Visits” featuring interviews with 19 artists, and a physical exhibition featuring the works of 10 artists, according to a press release.

The project was open to all artists who have works stored at a Manhattan Mini facility. Artwork can also be viewed at www.freshoutofstorage.com. The website includes artist information, including the types of art the artists have stored in their storage units. The physical exhibit will be held Oct. 13-21 at the Manhattan Mini location at 645 W. 44th St. No release date was announced for the documentary.

Artists picked for the physical exhibit are Rita Barros, Barbara Burger, Steve Danielson, Elaine Defibaugh, Mike Jacobs, Eliot LeBow, Calvin Lom, Susan Natale, Gabriel J. Shuldiner and Ralph Toporoff. Art projects include mixed-media, paintings and photography. “They are all New York-based artists dealing with the chronic shortage of affordable space in the city for both living and creating their work,” the release stated.

“One of the darker aspects of art storage is that works created for the public are removed from circulation, particularly in the case of museums, galleries and collectors, where storage can become a large black box of invisibility,” organizers said. Project curator Ariela Kader indicated she was “deeply moved” when she saw how artists had their own retrospectives in storage with the hope their work would someday be shown.

The project took hold in part because Manhattan Mini has long been aware local artists have used units to create and store art. “We’re frankly honored and proud that so many talented New York City artists trust us with their precious work,” said Lenny Lazzarino, vice president of partnerships for Manhattan Mini. “In fact, many of them regard their storage rooms as private galleries or studios. We’re so excited to see the amazing works of art they’ve created for exhibition.”

No Longer Empty “activates public engagement with contemporary art through curated, community-responsive exhibitions and education programs that revive underutilized properties,” according to its website.

Founded in 1978, Manhattan Mini is part of the Edison Properties network of businesses. Edison also operates Edison ParkFast, a network of 40 garages and lots throughout Baltimore, New York City and Northeast New Jersey. Its other properties include workspace offices, executive offices and pre-built suites, The Hippodrome office building, and The Ludlow, a luxury residential high-rise on the Lower East Side.

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