Congratulations to Weverson Ponte, who brought Strength Showcase to the gallery in September; on this HUGE win for the Norwalk artist community, which will enable us to collaborate on the creation of a vibrant art and music scene in the Wall Street area!

REPOST from The Hour — The vacant front of a commercial building on Leonard Street will soon reopen as a potential hub for Wall Street’s artistic community. The Mad Lab will be a communal workspace for artists located at 22 Leonard Street, in the front half of the Front Page Upholstery building in an industrial stretch of downtown, next to Sono Studios and across the street from Factory Underground.

It’s the invention of Weverson Ponte, an architect, artist and Zumba instructor who, in the past two years, has organized gallery exhibitions, staged an art installation at a soon-to-be demolished home, and raised thousands of dollars toward various charities.

“The whole point is we’re trying to establish an artist community in the area that really promotes artistry and uniqueness,” Ponte said, “where artists can be empowered and have a collaborative space.”

Ponte came across the space by chance. “I was driving around Norwalk, looking for a garage I could rent where I could paint for myself,” Ponte said.

When he first passed by 22 Leonard St., he was intrigued. He called the property owner, developer Jason Milligan, who responded enthusiastically to Ponte’s vision.

“The Wall Street area, especially back in Isaac Square, is a budding art and music scene,” said Milligan.

Ponte designed the space himself and build out began roughly a month ago. Based on Ponte’s rendering, there will be couches, desks and a kitchen space. Ponte referred to it as a “fantasy factory.”

“The way we’re setting it up, it’ll be a shared studio space. Artists can rent out a desk, can run their brand and artist business out of there,” Ponte said. “It also becomes a space where they’re collaborating with each other. Multiple minds work better than one.

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