Portal: Governors Island Art Fair is Canceled Due to Ongoing Concern About Spread of COVID-19

Due to ongoing concerns about the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 that it is cancelling the 2021 edition of its fair. The organization announced earlier this month that the fair would take place from September 8-13 on Colonels Row on the Island with 34 artists participating. However, as the Delta variant has continued to proliferate this month, 4heads leadership have become concerned about social distancing within the compact, historic spaces in which the fair is staged and ensuring that visitors to the fair are vaccinated. Given these challenges, 4heads made the difficult decision to cancel the event to protect its artists and the public.

The organization is continuing with its Artists-in-Residence program on Governors Island. All of the 33 artists who planned to present work at the fair are participating in the residency program, which is happening in two sessions. The first session took place between April and August and the second session kicked off on August 19 and will run through November 17. Those interested in visiting any of the artists studios can contact 4heads at info@4heads.org to schedule time.

Check out our:

2020 Artist Talk series›

Recap video – Portal: GI 2019›

Expanded AIR Program

For its 2021 Artists-in-Residence program and fair, 4heads leadership invited artists from across its vast network to submit applications for consideration. The 4heads network includes artists who have previously participated in 4heads’ fairs as well as in its residency and education programs. The 2021 artist cohort was selected from those who submitted applications with a particular eye toward artists’ expressed need for studio space and desire to develop or complete projects and works that had been put on hold due to the pandemic. The full list of 2021 participating artists includes:

Santina Amato
Sonya Blesofsky
Ellen Blum
Nora Breen
Miggy Buck
Henry Chung
Rose Deler
Gregg Emery
Tim Fite
Pablo Garcia Lopez
Tine Kindermann
Sizhu Li
Andy London
Kyle Luntz
Ethan Minsker
Shiri Mordechey
Motomichi Nakamura
Matthias Neumann
Lauren Petty & Shaun Irons
Scott Pfaffman
Simona Prives
Jiwon Rhie
Margaret Roleke
Nola Romano
Cynthia Ruse
Jonathan Sims
Janice Sloane
Grant Stoops
Sam Sundius
Erin Turner
Debra Zechowski

Eye on Education

A shining new spot on our 2021 roster is a 4heads Education pilot program featuring the students of teaching artist Andy London. Andy develops and oversees the animation program at Hostos, CUNY in the South Bronx. He’s assembled a team of 8 Hostos animation and design students to work on studio projects started in the 1st AIR session, and heading into the 2nd AIR session, that they’ll continue to work on and also exhibit in Portal: Governors Island. This new arm of our lineup integrates all elements of our programming (AIR, education, and exhibition) in order to foster an inspiring and creative learning environment, providing support and mentorship to a young and diverse group of next-generation artists. The Student Artists are Carlos Thompson, Jesus Galvez, Natasha Villegas, Lisbeth Estevez, Amanda Quintanilla, Alba Gonzalez, Jalen Barr, and Alan Pierre-Louis.


Created by artists, for artists

4heads is the New York City non-profit organization created by artists for artists that has produced Portal: Governors Island (formerly known as Governors Island Art Fair) since 2008. Touted as New York’s largest independent exhibition, Portal: GI welcomes over 40,000 visitors annually in New York Harbor.

Our mission as an artist-created organization, is to cultivate a supportive community by hosting free large-scale art fairs and studio residency programs for under-represented artists, and by tailoring arts education programs for underserved youth. With a strong focus on artistic excellence and inclusion, we revitalize historic spaces with contemporary art, as we continue to enrich and expand our creative community: a socially, economically, and culturally diverse reflection of New York City itself.


Give from the heart – for the future of art!

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