Dorchester Art Project opens storefront
Last month, the Dorchester Art Project in Fields Corner opened the doors to its newly expanded space and storefront. Located in the same building as DAP’s existing studio and event space, the new storefront offers a revenue source for artists, a creative workspace for the community and the opportunity for expanded programs in the future.
Eyevan, a local artist known for his graffiti work, has several 8-by-8-inch abstract paintings available in the shop. This is his first time selling his work in a setting like this. “I feel like a lot of my supporters have been waiting for me to sell my art,” he says. “I finally found a space where I feel I could trust the people selling it.” The monetary breakdown for work sold is a 70/30 split in favor of the artist.
DAP has always been a community-driven art space that prioritizes Dorchester artists and creatives of color. The organization has operated out of the second floor of 1486 Dorchester Ave. for several years now. That space includes studio spaces artists can rent for reasonable prices, an art gallery, and event space used by musicians, theater groups and organizers. The event space is not in use currently, but DAP has pivoted to offer it as a streaming studio for artists to broadcast live from.
According to Emma Leavitt, DAP’s director of marketing and communications, the same landlord that rents the second-floor space to DAP offered an attractive deal on the storefront. Currently, DAP is renting the new space on a month-to-month basis. If successful, Leavitt says they would love to be able to secure a longer-term lease.
“There’s been a lot of enthusiasm in our community, but it’s going to take time for us to be known as a store, not just for artists, but for anyone in the community,” says Leavitt. The storefront currently sells works by local artists and products from local business owners. They also have a curated selection of vintage items and wearable art pieces. Leavitt says these products will be migrated to an online shop as well in the coming weeks. The new space also offers a drop-in workspace for Dorchester creatives and has an undeveloped basement that could be renovated and used for additional programs and events.
For Eyevan, this isn’t just an opportunity to make money, but also to expand on his own artistic identity. “I’ve always had this idea of being more than just a graffiti artist,” says Eyevan. “I think the abstract is a great place for me to start, because graffiti is in essence abstraction and contortion of letters. It comes hand-in-hand with that identity that I’ve already built for myself.”
DAP allows artists and makers like Eyevan to fully embrace their artistic practices with accessible studio space rates, sale options and a strong arts community. Its expansion represents an important emphasis on the arts during a time when it’s most needed.