“Is the nation’s art capital experiencing a mass exodus of artists? This question goes to the heart of the city’s identity, and certainly it’s not hard to find artists who have left or are leaving because it’s simply become too expensive.
‘I never rest in New York,’ said photographer Brian Palmer, days before moving from Brooklyn to Richmond, Virginia. ‘I always feel like I have to be doing something work-related.’
Whether or not artists are leaving the city more now than in the past is hard to quantify, however. For every painter who leaves, there’s a young, budding dancer who arrives. The Center for an Urban Future has been studying the issue for more than a decade now.
‘We’ve seen, actually, an increase in visual artists in New York City over the last decade,’ said the Center’s Adam Forman. ‘So without question, people are still coming here,’ often to attend art school, but are then weighed down with college debt and less likely to find well-paying jobs than their predecessors.”