A quote from a recent article in the New York Times says "Galleries have sprung up throughout the country, and particularly in London, in spots as varied as shopping mall outlets, a scooter showroom and a video store."
Another story just published again in the New York Times starts with the headline "Luring Artists to Lend Life to Empty Storefronts". Here is an excerpt from the same story.
As the recession drags on and storefronts across New York remain empty, commercial landlords are turning to an unlikely new class of tenants: artists, who in flusher times tend to get pushed out rather than lured in. And the price of entry is not deep pockets, but vivid imaginations and splashy exhibits — anything to lend the darkened buildings a sense of life.
On terms that are cut-rate and usually temporary — a few weeks or months — the artist gets a gallery or studio, and the landlord gets a vibrant attraction that may deter crime and draw the next wave of paying tenants.
“Any sort of activity is better than no activity,” said Jed Walentas, a Brooklyn developer whose company, Two Trees Management, routinely lends space in Dumbo and Downtown Brooklyn for art projects. “As long as it’s short enough and it’s flexible, then there’s no real cost. So the question is who can you find that’s going to make an investment in a space with that level of uncertainty, and often it’s the artist.”read on
The point is that even while the economy improves in some areas, other areas like commercial rental and leasing have yet to feel an upturn. Of course we hope the economy improves for everyone but until it does this is still a great time to bring life to shuttered spaces and give artists an opportunity to bring culture to neighborhoods.