Friday, Aug 22, 2014 01:53 am est

Gallatin alumna discusses gentrification of New York City art at panel

Posted on March 10, 2014 | by Khaleelah Logan

Courtesy of Palgrave Macmillan

Gallatin alumna, author and art aficionado Ann Fensterstock spoke at a panel discussion hosted by Gallatin professor Emeritus Laurin Raiken on March 7. The panel focused on “Art on the Block,” Fensterstock’s book that explores the 50-year history of the gentrification of art in New York City. The book discusses the various neighborhoods that, at one point or another, were a site of the migration, gentrification, degeneration and decay of the art world.

Fensterstock started the discussion with a 25-minute presentation that summarized the content of her book, including a breakdown of each neighborhood, its history before it joined the art world and 10 key ideas that Fensterstock believes move the art community. Fensterstock considers the 10 ideas, including real estate, the migration of the art world, the economy, art fairs and the Internet changing the way we view art, to be the key themes that weave through her book.

Gallatin committee member Josephine De Caro asked Fensterstock about the relationship between real estate and art.

“There has to be some correlation between the evolution of real estate and where artists go,” De Caro said. “Artists always want to be in inexpensive places.”

De Caro said the opportunities in New York City are shrinking and asked where artists would go instead.

“The struggling artist, whether it’s the poet or the dancer, will always come to New York City, and they will always find a way to survive,” Fensterstock said in response. “My worry is for the mid-level galleries … that is the cohort that is getting threatened.”

The panel ended with a debate on the usefulness of galleries in the age of the Internet.

“Now that we’ve got peripatetic art fairs that can go set themselves up on the piers, and we’ve got the Internet where you can do a virtual tour of the gallery and the installation, why have a gallery?” Fensterstock asked the crowd.

Gallatin junior Devon Bussell said he learned a lot from Fensterstock.

“For me, the economic and geographic parts of art are less obvious, less apparent than the philosophical and formal aspects of art production,” Bussell said. “So hearing someone, [such as] a well-researched professional, talk about these material dimensions of the art world is something I like to utilize as a guideline for me entering that world.”

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, March 10 print edition. Khaleelah Logan is a staff writer. Email her at


profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.