Galapagos Art Space

Born in Brooklyn. Raised in Detroit.

WhY Is Galapagos Moving to Detroit? 

Simply put, New York City has become too expensive to continue incubating young artists. The white-hot real estate market burning through affordable cultural habit is no longer a crisis, it's a conclusion. 

You can’t paint at night in your kitchen and hope to be a good artist. It doesn’t work that way. The canaries in New York City's real estate gold mine - its young artists and thinkers - are no longer talking about the next show they hope to land. They’re talking about the next city they can land in once their current lease runs out. 

If the core competitiveness of the big apple is culture, but actually being an artist in New York City costs you a full time career in another industry, then the best and brightest – the ones our meritocracy would obviously miss the most - won’t allow their work to suffer just to be among our tall buildings. 

After nearly 7,500 programs and over 1,000,000 audience members through our doors, Galapagos Art Space is moving to Detroit.

AN UNMET NATIONAL CAPACITY: Young artists around the country are giving up on New York City.

Instead, they're bouncing off the perceived costs of living here and traveling only as far as the urban density of their more affordable regional capitals. Cities like Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Chapel Hill, Austin, Nashville and Philadelphia - all great cities in their own right - are not the national mixing chamber that New York City has been. 

We think Detroit can be that place. 

The three ingredients ANY CITY NEEDS: 

To flourish, a well functioning creative ecosystem needs three things in abundance; time, space and people. Arguably, New York City has people but they no longer have time or space. Detroit has time and space and is gaining its critical third component - artists - at an astonishing rate.

In the end only one-thing matters: good artists and the best young thinkers follow ideas, and ideas flourish only when there is opportunity to realize them.


- Robert Elmes
Executive Director, Galapagos Art Space



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