5 Pointz: The Institute of Higher Burnin' or the 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center, Inc. is an outdoor art exhibit space in Long Island City, New York, considered to be the world’s premiere “graffiti Mecca,” where aerosol artists from around the globe paint colorful pieces on the walls of a 200,000-square-foot (19,000 m2) factory building. The complex owned by Long Island developer Jerry Wolkoff houses the Crane Street Studios in which 200 artists pay below market rents for studio space. In 2009 a 450-square-foot (42 m2) studio was listed as renting for $600/month.
It was announced in March 2011 that Wolkoff plans to redevelop the property to build high-rise residential towers, putting the future of 5 Pointz in jeopardy.
The complex was first established as the Phun Phactory in 1993 by Pat DiLillo under a program called Graffiti Terminators to discourage graffiti vandalism by encouraging artists to display their work in a formal showcase.
In 2002 Jonathan Cohen, a graffiti artist operating under the name "Meres" began curating the work. If he is not familiar with an artist, Cohen will ask for a sample of their work; if it is a mural, he will ask for a layout as well. The name 5Pointz signifies the five boroughs coming together as one but, because of its reputation as an epicenter of the graffiti scene, the industrial complex has actually united aerosol artists from across the world. Legendary writers from Canada, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, and all over the United States have painted on the building walls, including Stay High 149, Tracy 168, Cope2, Part, SPE, and Tats Cru.
Over the past decade, the striking, graffiti-covered warehouse has attracted several hip-hop and R&B stars, including Doug E. Fresh, Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Kaz, Mobb Deep, Rahzel, DJ JS-1, Boot Camp Clik, Joan Jett, and Joss Stone. One of the first graffiti there was a portrait of Jam-Master Jay, an important member of the early hip hop musical style.
In April 2009 the New York City Buildings department ordered the largest building closed after citing it for numerous building deficiencies including the studio partitions were built without permits. The inspections followed an incident on April 10, 2009, in which an artist was injured when part of a concrete fire escape collapsed.
John Roleke of About.com writes: "5 Pointz is a living collage of graffiti art covering a converted warehouse full of artist studios". 5 Pointz is known worldwide, and taggers or graffiti artists from all over the world have come there to paint graffiti. 5 Pointz has been the subject of articles in newspapers such as The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, and the International Herald Tribune.
See also 
- Bayliss, Sarah (2004-08-03). "Museum With (Only) Walls". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 3 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-13.
- Buckley, Cara (2009-04-18). "One Artist Is Hurt, and 200 Others Are Feeling the Pain". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-23.
- Queens Graffiti Mecca Faces Redevelopment - WNYC Culture - March 7, 2011
- Weir, Richard (1998-02-15). "Wall Hits a Patron of Graffiti". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-23.
- Kiper, Dmitry (2007-07-24). "Curator of an urban canvas article". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on 1 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-19.
- Roleke, John. "5 Pointz - Graffiti Mecca and Home to Artists". About.com. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
- Wallgren, Christine (2007-06-24). "Graffiti crew wants a place to call its own". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 30 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-22.
- "Graffiti artists find legal haven in New York City". International Herald Tribune. 2007-08-12. Archived from the original on 6 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-22.
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