Pioneer Profile: Pioneer Works

Master & Dynamic receives insider access to Dustin Yellin’s artistic utopia, Pioneer Works, to further explore the interaction between sound and creativity. Over the next couple of months, we’ll get a first-hand look at a selection of their resident creatives as they explore their art, working in a variety of mediums.

It all began with a question. “Why,” asked artist and Pioneer Works founder Dustin Yellin, “can’t I make a record, make a sculpture or movie, all in one place?” The answer lay in his own hands – he needed to create an environment where artists could gather, create, and learn from each other. He has since strived to create such a “utopia.” Located in an industrial area of Red Hook, Brooklyn, Pioneer Works has become a haven for artists, innovators, and the creatively curious.

Originally an iron works factory, the building was abandoned for twenty years before Yellin fulfilled his creative vision and turned it into a unique educational environment. Now, it is a stunning space where artists working in different mediums can create and collaborate, interested individuals can explore artistic territories by enrolling in one of the many classes offered, and anyone can come read a book in the garden, immersing themselves in the creative and supportive atmosphere.

Pioneer Work’s commitment to community can specifically be found in their family of artistic residents. They offer six to seven artists, all working in different mediums, studio space to complete a specific project in up to six months. Here, art doesn’t have to be individualized; in fact, collaboration is encouraged. In creating the environment, the goal was for each individual to have access to all kinds of resources, both technical and personal, at their fingertips, so that ideas requiring different artistic perspectives could reach their full potential. At the end of the residency, the artist’s individual work is put up on display in their exhibition space.

Sound artists from around the world are invited to perform in their space, most recently the Ethiopian pop music legend, Mahmoud Ahmed. Though exhibitions open and films premier, Pioneer Works also supports the success of different kinds of creatives, including scientists. Pioneer Works firmly believes that creative methodology can be applied in all disciplines, regardless of the subject, and that artists and scientists actually have a lot to learn from each other. When they say the possibilities for collaboration are endless, they mean it – this artistic sanctuary offers a range of courses that all focus on tying together different forms of creative thinking; neuroscience, drawing or even manifesto writing classes are available. Ultimately, they hope to spark an interest in taking classes that normally wouldn’t be offered outside a university setting.




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