A Little Pocket Utopia Closes in Bushwick Today


Today marks the last day of a beautiful experiment conceived in the head of Austin Thomas and realized by a community of artists and supporters who believed that a little art experiment could take root and grow (for two years anyway) in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick, it was called POCKET UTOPIA.

Personally, Pocket Utopia offered me a great deal as it exposed me to many local, national and international artists I knew little or nothing about until they showed up at Pocket. It was a space that, regardless of the artist showing, always had something to contribute to New York’s art conversation. Its success is a credit to both Austin and all those affiliated with it.

This last few weeks, artist, writer & blogger Sharon Butler (aka Two Coats of Paint) has been recording her stint as Pocket’s last resident on a Tumblr blog, which she tells me was created because it is super simple to post to using her iPhone (I concur, I wish WordPress’ iPhone app was this good & easy).

Some notable highlights from Sharon’s online jottings include glimpses of her sketch books (1, 2, 3, 4, 5…) and random urban observations (1, 2…).

She also offered these last thoughts (via Two Coats) today:

I feel a little bit like the last guest stumbling out of a really good party at dawn. This morning Jen DaltonAndy PiedilatoMatt Miller, and Beth Gilfilen all stopped by. Then I packed up my bags, folded the chairs, swept up my scraps, and lowered the window gates for the last time. Instead of Pocket Utopia, look for a cool new bar from Matt Webber, who also owns Soft Spot in Williamsburg, and Keith Cochran at the beginning of the new year.

As an added treat, last month I conducted a video interview with Austin about the closing of Pocket Utopia. In it she explains the idea behind PU.

Btw, there’s good news, the word is that Pocket Utopia isn’t dead just transforming.

Photo credits: left, Bushwick Culture; right, Sharon Butler.

2 responses to “A Little Pocket Utopia Closes in Bushwick Today”

  1. Great post, wistful yet hopeful. I’ll never forget Pocket Utopia and its stupendous cast of characters. It was a grand and successful experiment.

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