Pioneer Profile: Pioneer Works Center for Art + Innovation

Master & Dynamic receives insider access to Dustin Yellin’s artistic utopia, Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation, to further explore the interaction between sound and creativity. Over the next couple of months, we’ll get a first-hand look at a selection of their resident creatives as they explore their art, working in a variety of mediums.

It all began with a question. “Why,” asked artist and Pioneer Works founder Dustin Yellin, “can’t I make a record, make a sculpture or movie, all in one place?” The answer lay in his own hands – he needed to create an environment where artists could gather, create, and learn from each other. He has since strived to create such a “utopia.” Located in an industrial area of Red Hook, Brooklyn, Pioneer Works has become a haven for artists, innovators, and the creatively curious.

The former iron works factory is now used to host inspiring exhibitions.

Pioneer Work’s commitment to community can specifically be found in their family of artistic residents. They offer six to seven artists, all working in different mediums, studio space to complete a specific project in up to six months. Here, art doesn’t have to be individualized; in fact, collaboration is encouraged. In creating the environment, the goal was for each individual to have access to all kinds of resources, both technical and personal, at their fingertips, so that ideas requiring different artistic perspectives could reach their full potential. At the end of the residency, the artist’s individual work is put up on display in their exhibition space.

Sound artists from around the world are invited to perform in their space, most recently the Ethiopian pop music legend, Mahmoud Ahmed. Though exhibitions open and films premier, Pioneer Works also supports the success of different kinds of creatives, including scientists. Pioneer Works firmly believes that creative methodology can be applied in all disciplines, regardless of the subject, and that artists and scientists actually have a lot to learn from each other. When they say the possibilities for collaboration are endless, they mean it – this artistic sanctuary offers a range of courses that all focus on tying together different forms of creative thinking; neuroscience, drawing or even manifesto writing classes are available. Ultimately, they hope to spark an interest in taking classes that normally wouldn’t be offered outside a university setting.

The new sound studio is coming to life in the backyard.

The sound of construction workers, drills, and hammers that travel through the space says a lot about their future; Pioneer Works’ campus is expanding at an exponential rate. The next projects are to build a sound studio, a library, a dark room, a digital lab for photo and film editing, and notably, to increase a long-form curriculum in the educational department. As they see it, the more creative space and classes they can offer, the more they can attract new kinds of artists, nurturing and growing the artistic, collaborative community they have successful begun.

We encourage you to visit the campus – Pioneer Work’s main exhibitions are open to the public Wednesday through Friday from 11-6pm and weekends from 12-6pm. If you’re not in the New York area, check out Pioneer Work’s bi-annual magazine, Intercourse

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