An art gallery and residence for local artists is celebrating its grand opening.

Artspace PS 109 is a former school in East Harlem that's been transformed into affordable housing.

The school was closed in 1995 and sat vacant for more than a decade.

Now its walls are lined with art created by the building's new tenants.

"Citywide, you know artists are always getting pushed out of communities and this gives us an opportunity give them a place, a home that's affordable and it's like live/work space, so that they could work in their apartments. The apartments are like loft-style apartments so it gives them a chance, almost like a small incubator, it's economic development, it's housing," said El Barrio's Operation Fightback Executive Director Gustavo Rosado.

More than 53,000 people applied to live in one of Artspace's 89 units.