Trigger Warning

No Longer Empty and Manhattan Mini Storage are pleased to present Fresh Out of Storage, a unique project that brings to life and to light some of the many artworks that are kept in storage in New York City .

The project, which was open to all artists who have stored their work at a Manhattan Mini Storage facility, will be presented in three separate formats: an online presentation ( will showcase the work of all 35 artists who submitted their work for consideration; a video documentary, which will present interviews with 19 artists who were selected for Open Storage Visits; and the physical exhibition, featuring the works of ten of those artists, which will be held at the Manhattan Mini Storage facility at 645 West 44th Street, in Manhattan, from Oct. 13th through 221st, 2016.

Artists selected include: Barbara Burger, Calvin Lom, Elaine Defibaugh, Eliot LeBow, Gabriel J. Shuldiner, Mike Jacobs, Rita Barros, Ralph Toporoff, Steve Danielson and Susan Natale.

Included in this group are: two self-taught artists; an old-school photographer with thousands of negatives documenting a changing New York; a large-scale mixed media painter who collapses personal and environmental concerns; an abstract painter who began his practice at six years old; a Punk-Minimalist working with materials that made and make the city; a photo-journalist and film maker reinterpreting his archives through contemporary technology; an artist coping with eviction by creating memories of place and possessions; a portraitist of emotions and a mixed media artist creating socially conscious narratives  by re-purposing personal archives. What do these ten artists have in common? They are all New York based artists dealing with the chronic shortage of affordable space in the city for both living and creating their work. As Blake Malouf said during her interview, “I moved to New York in 2011, and since then, not only has my art been in storage but my artistic life has been in storage as well.” Storage therefore becomes not just a way of coping but also, whether it be the storage of these individual artists’ works or the storage of collections of art patrons or museums, it removes work from public view and circulation. Fresh Out of Storage allows some of that work to be seen again.

An artist’s storage unit is a time capsule of both the creator and his or her works, holding years and sometimes decades worth of material. The interviews made clear that the storage rooms contained not just works but intimate recollections of their making and the artists’ lives at the time, and often mining the depths of the unit became like a journey into the past.

One of the darker aspects of art storage is that works created for the public are removed from circulation – particularly in the case of museums, galleries and collectors, where storage can become a large black box of invisibility. This project hopes to make a dent in this problem. Indeed, project curator, Ariela Kader, was deeply moved when she saw how artists have their own “retrospectives” stored in the hope that the work will one day be shown.

Manhattan Mini Storage has long been aware that its units are frequently used by local artists to create and store their works. “We’re frankly honored and proud that so many talented New York City artists trust us with their precious work,” said Lenny Lazzarino of Manhattan Mini Storage. “In fact, many of them regard their storage rooms as private galleries or studios. We’re so excited to see the amazing works of art they’ve created for exhibition.”

Fresh Out of Storage is a partnership between Manhattan Mini Storage and No Longer Empty.
Project and exhibition conceived and curated by Ariela Kader.

Opening Reception October 13 from 6-8pm at Manhattan Mini Storage on 645 W 44th Street, New York, NY 10036 (Near the West Side Highway).

Leave a Reply