The Invisible Dog Art Center Combines Creativity And Community

The Invisible Dog Art Center was born in 1863, when the three-story former factory building was first built. And then, after being used as a belt factory (the one that manufactured the famous Walt Disney invisible dog trick toy, hence the name), the property was born again, in 2009, when Lucien Zayan took a three-month trip to NYC from Paris, decided to rent the space and transform it into an art gallery (as one does on vacation). Today the center — which boasts 500 pieces of art in its collection, plus over 30 dedicated artists’ studios upstairs from the gallery space — is celebrating its tenth year. The space is magical and filled with surprises, from the personal art within the labyrinth of studios upstairs to the hand-painted “Dante’s Inferno” verses on the elevator walls. Lucien is as sentimental as he is enterprising: Standing under the first piece of art he commissioned for the space (a chandelier made from 10,000 salvaged belt buckles from the original factory), he offers us each a scoop of homemade kiwi sorbet he’s brought from home to share with the center’s staff and artists. We highly suggest a visit to the space, including the secret garden out back where a local couple was recently married, for you never know what to expect.

  • Invisible Dog Center
    51 Bergen Street - Between Smith and Boerum
  • theinvisibledog.org