An Escape to Fine Art in New York City: GalleryELL on Governor’s Island
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By Christopher Martin
If ever to gather a group of young, innovative, American artists together in one place to craft organic, fine art for the world to see, how and where would you do it? Why not New York? And why not at a somewhat under discovered, historical site that’s free for the masses to explore? A HopStop, skip, and a jump from anywhere in our city’s metro area exists an understated, virtually unexplored piece of New York City history, a little mecca for revolutionary, natural ideas; Governor’s Island.
GalleryELL, founded by New York native John Ros, makes use of non-traditional venues to display their creations since the organization’s development in 2008. Their current group exhibition, entitled transient landscape: visualizing governors island, allows us to appreciate fine art in our own way, at our own pace, exactly how we feel most comfortable. “Allow your mind to stumble on new surprises,” encourages Ros. Whether you are the art enthusiast or “just” the passerby with an appreciation for beauty, you are welcomed into their current home here to admire at will.
John’s vision is to “encourage… artists to look beyond daily practice by reaching out to members of their communities and to the community at large, sharing resources, ideas, and creativity through camaraderie.” These artists want you to participate in their art, not just see it.
With an interesting dual project in place, our curator invites you not only to view the artists’ pieces as they are displayed in the gallery but also provides the opportunity to watch the creators at work in their own, on-site studios housed in a separate part of this home, constructed in 1857. After perusing the art in the air conditioned gallery space, walk across the porch and discuss what you thought with the artists themselves! It is not often we have such a great opportunity in a setting so conducive to a relaxing, educational, art experience.
This author strongly recommends you escape the daily grind, pack a picnic lunch, and take the short, free trip across the river to Governor’s Island to be a part of this amazing exhibit. Make a day of it! Rent a bike (or bring your own) and make your way around the island. After enjoying the artwork, sit under a tree surrounded by 19th century architecture to enjoy a picnic lunch or order some food and have a beer or cocktail at one of the few outdoor cafÃ©s including Water Taxi Beach.
Artists featured in the Transitent Landscape exhibit are Becky Yazdan, Christine Gedeon, Deanna Lee, Jodi Hays, Joel Bacon, John Ros, Kariann Fuqua, Kirsten Nash, lori Hinrichsen, Matthew Choberka, Nancy Hubbard and Richard Feaster
transient landscape: visualizing governors island
location: building 4a & b in nolan park.
Open Now until September 25th
Gallery open Friday thru Sunday from 12-4PM
Artist studios open Saturday from 12-3PM
Getting to Governers Island – Travel info & schedules