The Stony Island Arts Bank
Theaster Gates’ (HON 2014) Stony Island Arts Bank is officially open to the public. The project came out of the Rebuild Foundation, "a nonprofit organization that endeavors to rebuild the cultural foundations of underinvested neighborhoods and incite movements of community revitalization that are culture based, artist led, and neighborhood driven," started by Gates in 2010. Gates bought the dilapidated building of the Prohibition-era Stony Island Trust & Savings Bank in 2012 for $1. He proceeded to raise more than $3 million for its renovation by selling recovered marble blocks as “bank bonds” at Art Basel and by hosting a gala in the bank’s atrium. The Stony Island Arts Bank, as the Huffington Post reports, will serve as a cultural hub that aims to educate the public about art, architecture, and black culture. It houses the entire vinyl collection of the legendary DJ Frankie Knuckles, the book and magazine collection of Ebony and Jet founder John H. Johnson, and more than 60,000 glass lantern slides of art and architecture, donated by the University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The Stony Island Arts Bank plans to host three exhibitions per year. Currently on view is an installation titled Under the Skin by Carlos Bunga. Video from the October 3 opening can be seen on The Daily Mail.
Image: Tom Harris/Hedrich Blessing (courtesy of Rebuild Foundation)