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Our Mission

BHQFU is New York's freest art school, a learning experiment where artists work together to manifest creative, productive, resistant, useless, and demanding interactions between art and the world. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, BHQFU offers completely tuition-free courses on a variety of subjects during fall and spring semesters, hosts public programs and exhibitions year-round, and operates cost-free artist studio residency programs.




An Invitation

Too often what we think of now when we think of the art world is the art market – its collectors, dealers, curators, and academic professionals – who’s in whose collection, which biennial, or on the cover of a magazine. And while that aspect of the universe of art may be incontrovertible, it isn’t foundational.

The foundation of art remains the artists themselves: the conversations they are creating with each other, with art of the past, and with the wider world. Artists are always creating and recreating these dialogues through their work. These conversations begin in the studio, through the experience of other art works, in conversation with other artists. They rarely begin in the commercial sphere. And they certainly can’t end there. An art world built solely to feed the industry isn’t an interesting place to live. And we think the industry largely agrees!

And so BHQFU is an effort to encourage and expand the actual foundation of art. It’s purpose is to create new communion between artists, to develop and deepen the exchanges artists have with their work and each other. Our participants establish new friendships, creative rivalries, and new avenues of critical inquiry.

In casual conversation BHQFU is called a school. But this is not an MFA program. When artists have to take on debt so that they might spend time learning from each other, conversations about art are overwhelmed by conversations about art careers. There is already plenty of motivation in the world to figure out how to pay the rent. That’s not what we do at BHQFU.

BHQFU is a learning experiment. It’s an experiment in the sense that we are trying out ways to learn from each other, we’re evaluating the results as we go, and we’re refining our approach. We don’t expect to develop the perfect method. But we do intend to continually perfect our method.

BHQFU is free. It’s not just that we don’t charge tuition. The fact that our classes are free of charge is simply a necessary tactic toward a greater strategy of freedom. We believe that greater artistic freedom is the result of the active pursuit of crisis – of bringing ideas to the breaking point - through the cultivation of difference.

We invite you to come be different with us. We invite you to meet some new people and some new ideas, and to try on some new ways of being. If you don’t think you have anything to offer, you’re wrong. And if you don’t think you have anything to gain, you’re wronger.