Artist, Owner/Operator of Studio 5404, a non-profit cultural arts organization
In the art world, mainstream artists have many venues to showcase their work. For the non-traditional artist, the opportunities are more sporadic, especially on Long Island.
To change that trend, Long Island artist Lori Horowitz is bringing vibrant alternative art, previously found only in Manhattan, Chelsea and the Hamptons to the South Shore at Studio 5404, a non-profit cultural arts organization in Massapequa.
With her new space, Horowitz hopes to enrich the local community by sharing the art of under-represented and emerging artists by bringing a bit of the New York art scene to Long Island.
“New York City is the arts center of the world and we’re only an hour away,” Horowitz says, “but the South Shore of Long Island seems to be untouched and estranged from this rich cultural resource.” In just a short time, Horowitz is garnering a following and has shown the artwork of over 100 artists from the tri-state area since she opened the artspace in June 2013.
“Much of Long Island art is about landscapes, water and traditional works,” she says.
“We are bringing poets, sculptors, musicians, performance artists, video artists and film makers together so they can share their knowledge and possibly work together.”
According to Horowitz, artists at Studio 5404 learn more about conceptual reasoning, evoking emotions and creating art for other than decorative purposes.
“We are integrating the arts and bringing in different types of work and educating the public,” says Horowitz, who is also a union scenic artist and owner of Environ Vision Designs, where she crafts interactive displays, scenery and large sculptures for international clients.
Locally, Horowitz found an opportunity to display artwork right behind her studio on the 65 foot cement wall that she and her son Ari built. They brought in emerging graffiti artists, and well-known artists who were involved in the graffiti movement in the ‘70s to transform the wall into a work of art.
“It was a big undertaking,” she says, “but it’s the first outdoor art wall on Long Island.”
In addition to being a gallery and art space, Studio 5404 offers art education, lecture series, showcases and roundtables.
“Our message is to get art out on Long Island. That’s the direction we want to go towards,” she says.
“I want artists who have been trying to show, especially on Long Island,” says Horowitz. “It’s about raising consciousness, not just selling artwork.”
Horowitz says she is drawn to architectural construction versus deconstruction in the environment and the psychological components behind the scenes. Her expertise in scenic art is shown through her sculptures, paintings and photography. “Much of my work is symbolic in nature, with emphasis on materials usage,” she says.
The eclectic exhibits change every six weeks and as the word spreads about the alternative space, the turnout has grown. At a recent show, more than 200 people were there to explore the artwork on display.
“We had two bands playing and performance artists,” she says proudly.
Horowitz believes it is her positive approach to helping artists grow and produce more innovative work that has garnered attention for the studio and from art appreciators as well.
“Collectors and art appreciators have the opportunity to view and purchase fresh, strong artwork that is not traditionally shown on Long Island,” she says.
“I had a curator from the MET come down who has been following me [on social media],” Horowitz says. “He critiqued everything and was so positive and reassuring. I was told that I was on the right path. He said, ‘Don’t stop. Keep going the way you’re going; don’t go traditional.”
For Horowitz, that important feedback meant she is getting her message to the right people.
“First and foremost, I’m an artist,” she says. “I’m not governed by an arts council and we can do what we want.” Yet she doesn’t take that freedom for granted.
“We’re not trying to offend or shock anybody,” she says.
With a touch of humility, she adds, “I’m lucky to have this space and I want to help others.”