Pioneer Works is a center for research and experimentation in contemporary culture. Through a broad range of exhibitions, performances, arts and science residencies, and educational programs, Pioneer Works seeks to transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries, foster community, and provide a space where alternative modes of thought are supported and activated in tangible ways.
The organization was founded in 2012 by artist Dustin Yellin and is located in a 25,000 square feet manufacturing warehouse in Red Hook, Brooklyn. After an extensive renovation, the facility now houses artist studios, exhibition and performance spaces, a science lab, a recording studio, and other spaces as needs arise. The floor plan is open and flexible, encouraging a transparent, collaborative environment where international artists, musicians, scientists and educators can co-exist and create together.
Entry to Pioneer Works’ main exhibition space and artist-in-residence studios are free and open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tours are available upon request.
Pioneer Works is a non-profit 501(c)(3).
Built in 1866, the building was first occupied by Pioneer Iron Works, one of the largest machine manufacturers in the United States- constructing ships, boilers, tanks, sheet iron, detachable railroad tracks, grain elevators, and machinery for sugar plantations. The building was completely destroyed by a devastating fire in 1881 and rebuilt shortly thereafter. Pioneer Iron Works operated until the middle of the 20th century, after which the site became a storage facility for Time Moving Company. Pioneer Street was named after the Pioneer Iron Works building.
FROM THE FOUNDER
Ever since I learned to float, I have been swimming with my oldest dream. Now the waters of fantasy have receded, and Pioneer Works has surfaced, a hall of brick and light.
Our utopia is the architecture of impromptu synthesis. The floor is an exhibition space; the walls are working studios; the windows are openings onto the infinite psychogeography of New York City.
The gulf between different modes of thinking yawns ever wider. Gone are the swinging salons, the café manifestos, the petitions wet from inkwells. Tangible cooperation is eroding—we need people to be talking and touching, not just typing.
Pioneer Works fearlessly bridges the chasm between disparate disciplines. A biologist excitingly beckons a musician to the microscope, a painter shares her sketches with a geneticist and together they discover a new algorithm for printmaking. It is a nursery for innovation, an alpine highway to the horizon of the imagination.
It was once said “Art is a lie to reveal the truth.” For me, art is never a lie, but always a truth in itself. Art is a revelation that what could be is just as real as what is. All are welcome to join in this apotheosis of human endeavor.
Founder & Director
Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation
DUSTIN YELLIN, FOUNDER & DIRECTOR
GABRIEL FLORENZ, DIRECTOR
DAVID SHEINKOPF, CO-DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION & TECH INTEGRATOR
CATHERINE DESPONT, CO-DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION / HUMANITIES & INTERCOURSE MAGAZINE
ANNA ROSENCRANZ, DEVELOPMENT
MARCO OROZCO, FACILITIES & GENERAL OPERATIONS
DANIEL KENT, DESIGN
ALLISON KNOLL, COMMUNICATION
YAEL KREVSKY, RESIDENCY COORDINATOR
ELLIE WETHERBEE, GARDENER
DAVID EVERITT-HOWE + JOEY FRANK, CURATORIAL ADVISORS
JASON GRUNWALD, CHIEF INSTALLER; DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
DOUGLAS CALHOUN, WEDDINGS MANAGER
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ANDRES SANTO DOMINGO