Agora Gallery Highlights 2011

It has been another full and memorable year at Agora Gallery. There were a number of small moments which the gallery staff will remember going into the coming year – from little birthday parties for staff members, to sharing cupcakes during a break in a busy day, to the look on a visitor’s face when they realized that they had found a work of art that speaks directly to them. These memories will invigorate and inspire us, moving forward into 2012.

However, there have also been a number of larger events which have also played a part in characterizing 2011. One of them was certainly the remarkable success of young artist Aelita Andre, the four year old whose astonishing work captivated Angela, our Gallery Director, before she found out the age of the artist. Aelita Andre’s solo exhibition at Agora Gallery was enormously successful, with collectors snapping up the works on display, both in the gallery and on online gallery ARTmine, and representatives from the media showing fascinated interest in the talent of this unusual artist.

In addition, there have been a number of other fabulous and inspiring solo exhibitions this year. Audiences have been delighted by the colorful and passionate work of Marcela Cadena and by Lynda Pogue’s optimistic and exhilarating creations. Paul M. Cote returned for a second, wonderful exhibition entitled Vers la Lumière, which displayed the artist’s developing talent, and Lydia van den Berg enchanted viewers with her paintings which persuasively mix childhood themes with adult ideas. Later in the year, L. Byrne’s striking, vibrant abstract impressionist works took center stage, followed by the art of Z. Todorova, which spoke so movingly of the artist’s personal conviction of a connection between humanity and the world in which we live. Most recently Carlo Proietto presented his unique artworks, created through the unusual method of pyrography, which the artist has elevated to a fine art technique.

The 2011 Chelsea International Fine Art Competition was also a highlight of the year. It was a pleasure to see so many high quality submissions; the juror, Elisabeth Sherman of the Whitney Museum of American Art, had a difficult job in choosing the selected artists! The competition exhibition, held in August, was also deservedly popular, with visitors appreciating the diversity and depth of the works on view.

One of our usual highlights is a biannual event – the publication of contemporary art magazine ARTisSpectrum, which covers such a range of interesting topics and themes relating to the art world. The magazines published in May and November of 2011 received much positive feedback from readers and from artists around the world – and at Agora Gallery, we particularly enjoyed posing in the shoes that were specially painted for the cover article of Volume 25, which focused on the synergy that exists between gallery staff.

This year as well, Agora Gallery’s main site got a brand new look. Designed to continue on seamlessly from the old format, the new version allows visitors to feel as if they are almost standing in the gallery, viewing the works on display and finding out more about the artists, the exhibitions and Agora. If you haven’t explored it yet, have a look now!

On Sunday September 18, 2011, Team Agora took part in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. It’s an annual event that takes place in Central Park, in which participants run, jog and walk, participating in order to raise funds to combat breast cancer. Members of our family and friends have been affected by this terrible disease, and so we are especially glad to be able to participate in the race.

One other memorable event of the year – though it wasn’t exactly a highlight in the normal sense of the word – was Hurricane Irene. We were so touched to receive messages of support and concern from artists and art lovers all around the world. We kept in contact during that dramatic weekend, and you can read more about the experiences of some of the gallery staff on the blog.

We’re looking forward to 2012 and the new challenges, excitements and surprises it will bring. We hope you’ll join us for the ride, and in the meantime, happy new year!

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