While most of the country dreams about winning the lottery, most artists in New York dream about opening their own gallery. With the price of store-front property rising, the ability to showcase emerging artists is becoming less and less possible. Though good things happen to those who wait…
New York-based artist Christina Papanicolaou studied art at Central Saint Martins and like many other talented graduates, has been working as an assistant to a variety of well known artists. In addition to improving upon her skills, Papanicolaou has been able to leverage her experience as an opportunity to gain hands on insight into how the city’s art market operates.
Recently, Papanicolaou took over the director’s role of the E.TAY gallery, an exhibition space with a rich history nestled in lower Soho (technically TriBeCa). The nearly 100 year old building on White street has housed many tenants over the years – prior to 1991, the bottom floor had been used as a brothel, a fact discovered by the current owner and gallery’s namesake, Eng Tay. Though the neighborhood is now more refined, White street was once the bustling hang-out of artists like Basquiat and Haring (the latter of which has a unique early work hanging in the entry way of the gallery).
Opening on September 10th, “Locally Sourced” will mark a new chapter for the gallery, which will feature works from an all female line-up of recent MFA graduates. Upon taking over the gallery, Papanicolaou wanted to establish an exhibition space that would aid recent art graduates in staying motivated post graduation. She explains,
“THE ARTISTS IN THIS SHOW HAVE SUCH INCREDIBLE ENERGY. IT CAN BE EASY TO GET LOST IN THE GRIND OF MAKING A LIVING AFTER LEAVING SCHOOL AND I WANTED TO CREATE A COMMUNITY THAT WOULD HELP ARTISTS KEEP UP THEIR CREATIVE MOMENTUM.”
“Locally Sourced” also taps into Papanicolaou’s desire to provide exposure to female artists, a segment of the art world that has unfortunately been historically neglected. She and studio mate, Erika Sabel, spent last spring attending Senior Thesis Exhibitions throughout the city to explore the vibrant pool of untapped talent. Here they discovered artworks ranging from massive figurative paintings to hauntingly expressive photographs by recent MFA grads: Kelsey Elverum (Columbia University), Lucia Holm (New York Academy of Art), Gina O’Connor (Columbia University), Rachel Rickert (The New York Studio School), and Katie Ruiz (The New York Studio School).
The show opens on September 10th from 7-10 pm and will be on view through mid-October. Check out E.TAY gallery on social media for more information on current and future shows.