Gabriel Koren’s story sounds all too familiar. The 68-year-old artist — lauded for making public sculptures of African American luminaries like Frederick Douglass and Malcolm X — has been priced out of her Dumbo workspace with nowhere else to go, according to an article in Sunday’s New York Times.
But for Brownstoner, Koren’s story hits close to home. The studio she’s kept for the past 28 years is just one floor above our office at 68 Jay Street. When we visited her yesterday afternoon, Koren was overwhelmed by the response to the Times article.
“So many people call. I am very thankful that so many people are calling,” she told Brownstoner. Koren is still listening to her many voicemail messages. She welcomed the possibility of help.
There’s no denying it: Dumbo is a neighborhood undergoing big changes. 60 Water, the new luxury apartment building to arrive in the neighborhood, is just the latest newcomer to a neighborhood that has been attracting creative types for over 30 years.
Artisans like woodworker Mark Jupiter are ensuring that the neighborhood maintains the vibes that sealed its reputation as an artists’ enclave in the 70s and 80s. We spoke to him about his custom furniture showroom on Plymouth Street, what led to his career in woodwork, and how he likes to spend his time in Dumbo. If you’re thinking of moving to Dumbo, you couldn’t have a better guide.