Brooklyn Public Library Names Steve Keene as Artist-In-Residence for NYC Debut

Steve Keene at his studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Steve Keene at his studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

For Immediate Release: May 5, 2014

Brooklyn Public Library Names Steve Keene as Artist-in-Residence for NYC Debut

Residency Features Premiere of New Work, A Summer Exhibition June 12-August 29 and Weekly On-Site Painting Performances On Grand Army Plaza

Related Events Include a Painting Demo by the Artist, Affordable Art Fair June 14 
and Four Art Workshops for Children throughout the Summer

Brooklyn, NY (May 5, 2014) – Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) announced today that Brooklyn-based painter and multimedia artist Steve Keene is the Library’s 2014 Artist-in-Residence. Keene is the second artist to hold this honor.

Keene is a prolific artist, with more than 250,000 pieces in public and private collections. He is well known among independent music fans for creating original album artwork, video sets, stage sets and promotional posters for musical artists such as Silver Jews, Pavement, The Apples in Stereo, Soul Coughing, Merzbow and The Dave Matthews Band.

From June 12-August 29, an exhibition entitled Steve Keene’s Brooklyn Experience will feature works in Central Library’s Grand Lobby that pay homage to Brooklyn and to BPL, rendered in Keene’s Wood Sculpture and Tattooed Plywood. To create these works, Keene draws and models in 3D software that then generates files that are cut by a Computer Numerical Control router into plywood sheets. The output becomes the building blocks for the Wood Sculptures and the engraved drawings that are Tattooed Plywood.

As part of Keene’s residency, he will paint live on Grand Army Plaza, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11am-5pm (weather permitting) from June 19-August 16, creating his Hand Painted Multiples in front of Central Library. For this painting performance, Keene will build a modular easel, which will serve not only to produce and display his works in process, but will also store his materials after he finishes his day of work. Here the public can watch Keene at work and purchase his freshly finished works. Additionally, on June 14 from 1-4pm, Central Library will host an Affordable Art Fair including a wide selection of Keene’s new and old works. Keene will also lead four children’s art workshops during the summer, giving children an opportunity to learn new artistic skills.

“I’m excited about working with Brooklyn Public Library,” stated Keene. “A library is like a train station for the mind. It is the point from which you can travel anywhere, everywhere. There is something so energizing about both the familiar and the unknown all at your fingertips waiting for new connections to be made. I try to include this sense of unlimited possibility in my work.”

“Our Artist-in-Residence program is a unique opportunity for BPL to showcase the work of great Brooklyn-based artists like Steve Keene, who truly embody the creative spirit that permeates our borough. Keene’s work in particular will allow friends and neighbors to gather around Grand Army Plaza, watching art in progress and even walking away with an original work. We invite everyone to visit Central Library this summer and celebrate the artists in our midst,” said Brooklyn Public Library President & CEO Linda E. Johnson.

Though Keene is a 20-year resident of Brooklyn, this will mark his debut show in the New York City metropolitan area. Steve Keene’s Brooklyn Experience is curated by Dan Efram, a music and media producer, who has developed live projects, documentary films and television for stages and screens all over the world.

About Brooklyn Public Library
Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is an independent library system for the 2.5 million residents of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest library system in the United States with 60 neighborhood libraries located throughout the borough. BPL offers free programs and services for all ages and stages of life, including a large selection of books in more than 30 languages, author talks, literacy programs and public computers. BPL’s eResources, such as eBooks and eVideos, catalog information and free homework help, are available to customers of all ages 24 hours a day at our website:

About Tractor Beam
Dan Efram is a Music Artist Manager, Performing Arts and Media Producer, Marketing Consultant and an Adjunct Professor of The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. More info available at:

Contact: Emma Woods,, 646.200.5303

Related Links
Steve Keene Official Website:   @keene_steve
Video Interview (For Embedding):
Brooklyn Public Library   @brooklynpublic
Curator Dan Efram, Tractor Beam:  @tractorbeamnyc