Instagram Unveils Its First Public Art Exhibitions at Photoville in Brooklyn

An Instagram photo by Matt Slabby (@mattslaby).

An Instagram photo by Matt Slabby (@mattslaby).

Today marks the opening of Photoville, a collection of 50 outdoor photography exhibitions housed in repurposed shipping containers and billed as “the largest annual photography event in New York City,” located at Brooklyn Bridge Park. It’s also where the virally popular photo-sharing network Instagram will unveil its first public exhibitions.

Instagram will be exhibiting two shows at the event, The Everyday Projects, a collaboration with an international collection of photojournalists that use the platform to document their experiences, and Here in the World: Voices of the Instagram Community, 70 artists culled from its editorial channels and chosen by the the its community team. Plus, a specially commissioned outdoor mural from artist North Carolina-based James Marshall (@dalek2013) will be on view.

Pamela Chen, Instagram’s editorial director, told The Observer, “We’ve been talking about curating an exhibit for a while now and Photoville is a natural fit in many ways. It’s community based, open to the public, and has a grassroots feel that resonated with us.”

An Instagram photo by Tierney Gearon (@tierneygearon).

An Instagram photo by Tierney Gearon (@tierneygearon).

Instagram is pretty much the art world’s choice social network. Everyone from MoMA PS1 director Klaus Biesenbach to former Phillips head Simon de Pury and artists Ryan McGinley to the Internet-famous Jayson Musson (aka Hennessy Youngman) uses it. Here in the World is a snapshot of users—mostly outside the art world—who are taking the medium to the next level.

Ms. Chen said, of Mr. Marshall’s mural portion of the exhibitions, “We wanted to pay tribute to all elements of our creative community, which is why we’ve also commissioned James Marshall to paint a mural here at Photoville.”

And Mr. Marshall’s enthusiasm for Instagram is reciprocal. “Instagram has become a primary vehicle for showing my work and it’s basically replaced my website because it’s an easier way to post work and get feedback. I live in North Carolina but with Instagram I’ve been able to build a global audience. It’s also been hugely inspirational for me because its where I can discover other artists and see what they’re working on.”

And as for The Everyday Projects, begun by photographer Peter DiCampo and writer Austin Merrill, its popularity was completely fueled by the easy sharing aspect of the platform. Even Mr. DiCampo has discovered others. “I’ve discovered so many photographers I wasn’t familiar with doing incredible documentary work. I love that–I love how Instagram and the Everydays in tandem have eradicated some of the rockstar culture of photojournalism.”

Photoville is free and open to the public September 18-28.