Storefronts, 2023. Courtesy of Ilana Harris-Babou.


On the Ground: Ilana Harris-Babou
97 Kenmare Street, New York, NY


Exhibition Opening:
Saturday, October 7th


From October 7th to December 16th, we will present the work of artist Ilana Harris-Babou, an exhibition that reflects on storefronts that engage alternative ways of teaching and learning in the neighborhoods in Central Brooklyn where she grew up. From a cooperatively-run alternative preschool to an afrocentric martial arts space, Harris-Babou unpacks how the pedagogical use of storefronts have become an essential artery to share knowledge within the rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods of Crown Heights, Wingate, Flatbush, and their shifting demographics.


About the Artist

Ilana Harris-Babou. Courtesy of Ilana Harris-Babou.


Ilana Harris-Babou’s work is interdisciplinary; spanning sculpture and installation, and grounded in video. She speaks the aspirational language of consumer culture and uses humor to digest painful realities. Her work confronts the contradictions of the American Dream: the ever-unreliable notion that hard work will lead to upward mobility and economic freedom. She has exhibited her work internationally, with recent survey exhibitions at Kunsthaus Hamburg & the ICA Chattanooga. Other venues include The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, USA; The High Line; New York, USA; West Space, Melbourne, and Warehouse421, Abu Dhabi, UAE.


On the Ground
On the Ground is a yearlong research project and exhibition series about New York City’s ground floor. Through a close look at the urban typology of the storefront, this expansive endeavor presents newly commissioned artistic explorations and dialogues about the heterogeneous threshold between public and private space throughout 2023. The project will unfold through three exhibitions, a radio show, an open call, a public program, and a thematic reader. 


On the Ground is conceived and organized by the Storefront Team

Graphic design by Estudio Herrera 

Photography by PJ Rountree


Storefront’s On the Ground program is made possible through the support of the Graham Foundation, the Ruth Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the Storefront Circle and Storefront’s Board of Directors, members, and individual donors.