About Us

A dynamic, collaborative not-for-profit space in the East Village.

PS122 Gallery is a dynamic, collaborative not-for-profit space in the East Village that provides opportunities and support services for emerging and under-recognized artists. PS122 Gallery is celebrating its 40th anniversary year in 2019. The gallery reopened in January 2019 after a six-year renovation process which brought the building up to code, doubled the gallery in size and allowed for expansion of programming capacity of the arts and community organizations housed in the historic NYC owned building.



Support for artists to allow for equitable distribution, opportunities, and resources for creative ecologies.


Painting Space 122, Inc. embraces its public mission by bringing together artists with exhibition and studio space to support independent artistic expression  and to maintain a vibrant and creative community of diverse independent creators in an atmosphere of open engagement. PS 122 Gallery’s exhibitions provide the foundation for the public programs that empower a diverse group of creatives to confront boundaries, inspire possibilities, and make meaningful contributions to the wider community.


  1. Community.  By acting as a platform, we engage with our surrounding community, welcome new communities, and create new audience driven opportunities for engagement.
  2. Collaborative.  We meaningfully collaborate with committed organizations toward shared goals.
  3. Equitable.  We strive to present the work of artists of all backgrounds in a diverse and equitable context. PS122 gallery is free and open to the public and inclusive of all people regardless of race ethnicity age LGBTQIA + identity and class.
  4. Perseverance.  We encourage and support lifelong commitment to a creative practice.
  5. Respect.  We believe every individual deserves respect and has something to contribute to the artistic dialogue.
  6. Artistic promise.  We support artistic development and achievement at any stage of an artist’s career.
  7. Unique.  We believe in free and expressive speech, and that everyone has a unique voice, while promoting openness to emerging and alternative ideas.
  8. Empathy.  We foster an environment to help artists actualize their vision.
  9. Sustainability.  We believe in a sustainable future, and concern for resources, which allows for a sustainable creative community.

Advisory Board

Sara O’Keeffe
Omar Lopez-Chahoud
Elyse Goldberg
Sara Reisman
Amy Goldrich
Dennis Elliot
Steven Lam
Rachel Gugelberger


Support PS122 Gallery by participating in annual benefits, making donations or volunteering. Contact us to learn more.

An Oral History by Karen Eubel

Rarely have I been in the right place at the right time but it happened one day in 1978 when I visited Cindy Karasek in her temporary studio in the old PS122 building. The former school building had been vacant for about six months when several social service groups had acquired it from the city. Cindy had rented a room on the third floor, but we saw that there was plenty of empty space. At the time we were both working in tiny apartment spaces and we knew other artists were also having problems finding studio space.

So we made a proposal to the building’s board of directors, which they accepted, and we put together a core group of six other artists and we moved in. …The rooms were almost perfect and we had affordable rent, high ceilings, good light, plenty of storage…

At first Cindy and I ran the association — collecting rent, meeting with the board and helping to administer this terrific old building. But the social service groups in the building either succeeded or failed due to their ability to raise funds, while the board could always count on us for the rent. Thus, as other spaces became available… we were able to get those too. We continued to add to the core group, taking in new members on the basis of their work.

Finally we reached what Cindy called “critical mass.” It was getting more difficult for Cindy and I to be the directors of the association, plus we wanted to do other projects — primarily open a gallery. After discussing it with the other artists we agreed to change our structure so that everyone would assume some responsibility for running the organization. From then on we have been a collective. We have always operated in a democratic manner and struggled through the typical problems of trying to reach consensus on a variety of issues. We had arguments and we had fun, but there was always a feeling of mutual respect.

In 1979, we opened room 406 as our gallery and inaugurated it with an open studio exhibition. Our first show was a selection of artists from the 4th Street Photo Gallery. It was never our intention to show just our own work in the gallery. We wanted to create an alternative space. Once we got the hang of operating a gallery space, we decided it would be better to assemble a jury to select the artists that would show each year.

The gallery does one of the best jobs of any space in the city to support promising artists who are still struggling for recognition. – DAN CAMERON