A New Escape For Emerging Artists In NYC

A New Escape For Emerging Artists In NYC

Silence is Accurate is an original platform that aims to create a new kind of community for emerging artists – both in person and online. The idea came about when founder Portia Makoma realized that there was a need for a space where artists could engage with one another and a larger community in a holistic way that is not driven purely by commerce. Alongside the website, which focuses on in-depth interviews with artists, Silence is Accurate is also running an Indiegogo campaign to open up a space for art retreats. These art retreats service artists by providing them with a space to create, learn, meditate and engage in a mindful community. We sat down with creator Portia Makoma, to find out more about her innovative project. Be sure to join Silence is Accurate this Sunday, April 3 for a Live Painting Experience at Sweet & Vicious in Nolita, NYC (RSVP here).

JarrodBeck studio silence is accurate art report new escape

Jarrod Beck’s studio, [Silence is Accurate]. Photo: Ashley Gallerani

Jazia Hammoudi: How do you hope to service artists?

Portia Makoma: Through the artist interviews on [Silence Is Accurate], it’s been interesting to learn how space influences many artists’ work. Some have said they can’t create at a certain scale depending on the size of the studio they’re in, some work better when they’re away in residencies and so forth. The consistency has been them saying how having a space keeps them creating and keeps them on track.

Most artists in NY aren’t able to rent an art studio and still juggle their other finances. I’m excited that there’ll be a space for artists to create at least once a week, this will be in line with the donation-based art lessons we’ll be offering. There will be casual opportunities for artists to gather, hopefully friendships and collaborations are born from these meetings. [SIA] will show work that creates a dialogue about our generation’s identity, our environment, our questions and relationships. Through art talks, studio visits and interviews, artists will be able to communicate directly with the community.

JH: How do you hope to service a general audience? Who are your ideal users for this new platform?

PM: The idea to create this space partially developed from conversations with acquaintances and friends that I constantly found myself involved in.

We are all always on the go and rarely stop to pause, breathe and create. We keep seeing the same work at fairs and in galleries that we may at times relate to; however, we’re unable to collect. We want to meet other like-minded creatives in a casual environment and support the artists our generation will be remembered for.

I’m looking to service the general audience by providing them with a space that allows them to expand awareness, increase creativity, interact with others as well as the art world and collect work that they want to live with forever.

BrittanySchall studio silence is accurate art report new escape

Brittany Schall’s studio, [Silence is Accurate]. Photo: Ashley Gallerani

The space may attract an entirely different audience than what I have in mind and either is absolutely amazing.

[SIA]’s ideal users are looking for a regular home to visit and focus on connecting with their creative side. They want to discover new artists whose works resonate with them. They want an unconventional exhibition experience and to be a part of a community not just attend events.

The donation-based art lessons are ideal for beginners and those who would like to brush up on their painting skills. The lessons are an affordable way for people to explore creating and re-awaken those who haven’t painted in a while. These may attract once off visitors; however, I hope that one lesson ignites a passion in each person.

JH: Will the Escape be available to everyone? professional artists only? Who do you see as being the primary participants in the community you are building?

PM: The escapes are absolutely for everyone! Although we’re based in New York, I anticipate a diverse group of guests living here, passing through and visiting to find value in an art day retreat or experiencing an exhibition.

[SIA] welcomes beginners and artists at any stage in their art life. Daily meditators and individuals who have never thought of incorporating meditation into their lives. Art enthusiasts and anyone who is curious about art.

YasminaAlaoui22 studio silence is accurate art report new escape

Yasmina Alaoui’s studio, [Silence is Accurate]. Photo: Ashley Gallerani

JH: How does commerce figure into the logic of your organization? Will you function as a retail gallery as well as a site for art practice and community?

PM: Exactly, you’ll be able to view art, on most occasions meet the artist to learn more about them, their process and hopefully collect a piece that resonates with you. You’ll be able to use the space as a studio and connect with others in the community.

JH: I am really interested in the spirituality component of your project. How does spirituality come into play, in terms of the yoga/meditation component?

PM: I’ve found that meditation is one of the best ways to calm your brain. Once your mind is not in a million places, you tend to have better focus and are able to engage better with your environment. Not only does meditation reduce stress and anxiety, but regular meditation can increase creativity, enhance focus and improve sleep patterns.

The purpose of having a gong meditation prior to creating is to center you, which prepares your body and mind to let go and pour yourself onto the canvas.

KileyAmes studio silence is accurate art report new escape

Kiley Ames’ studio, [Silence is Accurate]. Photo: Ashley Gallerani

JH: How will the Art Escape space interact with the website? Are the artist interviews on there from members of the Escape? It seems that your project is two prongedto provide a unique space for creation and a platform for artists’ points of view.

PM: [SIA] began as a way to curate an archive of our generation’s inspiring artists through studio interviews. A look at their process, personal lives and how space effects creativity. The artists on the website are not part of the escape.

I hoped these interviews inspired readers to explore, learn or surround themselves with art once they realized how accessible it is! Humanizing the artists behind the works encourages this exploration.

The website will remain as a place to discover young contemporary artists and collect art, those elements will also be transferred to the space.

zio-ziegler silence is accurate art report new escape

Zio Ziegler, [Silence is Accurate]. Photo: Winni Wintermeyer

Aleksandra-Zee Huck Mag silence is accurate art report new escape

Aleksandra Zee, [Silence is Accurate]. Photo: Huck Magazine

PeterGerakaris studio silence is accurate art report new escape

Peter Gerakaris’s studio, [Silence is Accurate]. Photo: Ashley Gallerani


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Jazia is an art advisor, writer, and curator based in New York City. She enjoys spending time in museums, galleries, and flea markets from here to Marrakech.