Thursday, December 4th saw Agora Gallery’s final opening reception of the 2014 season. Looking back, we’ve had a great number of noteworthy exhibitions, from solos to collectives, 2-D and 3-D art, holograms, fingerprint painting, and more. It’s been a truly great year for the artists who have graced our walls with their remarkable work, and we at Agora Gallery are thrilled that we were able to help each artist reach a new audience in New York City. Spanning our first and second floors, the exhibitions Labyrinth of Color and Reconstructing Reality offered an exemplary assortment of Agora Gallery artists.
Around 5:30 PM, the artists gathered for a quick introduction. “We want to thank you for making such a journey to get here tonight,” said Gallery Director Angela Di Bello, “both physically and mentally.” Hailing from all over, the artists briefly told us about themselves and their work. We heard from Kasper Dyrvig Randorff and Henrik Hytteballe, each coming from Denmark, Douglas Watson from England, Ebelgarle from Spain, TAMO from Georgia, Tanya Meyer from Russia, Verónica Murphy from Argentina, and Julia Kappenman from Nebraska. Said best by Angela that night: “We like to think of ourselves as a little United Nations of the art world, where great minds from all over can meet.”
It might have been a cold night, but you wouldn’t have known it from the warmth and energy in the gallery. It was a pleasure to speak with our artists about their work and their process. Julia Kappenman, exhibiting her work at Agora Gallery for the second time, used her phone to show me some of the new pieces she has been working on. Kappenman’s socially-aware acrylic paintings touch upon many subjects, featuring both political and cultural icons from the past including Martin Luther King Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, and Jerry Garcia. The artist signs her paintings “Jewel.” “When I was young,” explained Kappenman, “my mother would call me for dinner – ‘Jewel!’ My signature is an ode to her.”
“It is always great to come back to Agora Gallery,” Mark Salevitz said to me. Mark was celebrating his fourth exhibition with Agora Gallery, and it is always a pleasure for us to show his colorful, high-energy paintings. Mark’s work falls in the enchanting space between realism and abstraction, injecting passion and vitality into his land and cityscapes. His goals for the future? “I’ll have to invest in bigger canvases and a step ladder, so that I can show in the downstairs gallery!”
Artists Ines De Poligny and Wei Xiong’s large and colorful abstract works beautifully fill our street-level space. Though neither could be present at the reception, both artists were enjoying their second show with Agora Gallery. Their works were a great hit, magnetically drawing art-lovers off the street and into the gallery. Another artist featured in the show, Shams, wowed guests with technical mastery. A father and son team, Shams, create extravagantly detailed, three-dimensional embroidery pieces. Each artwork takes months to complete, and is done in the tradition of the original Shams (their late father and grandfather).
Here at Agora Gallery, we want to say a big thank you to everyone who came by to this reception, and to all of receptions we’ve hosted this past year. As we say goodbye to 2014 and hello to 2015, we invite you take a look at the photos from our past shows, and to sign up for our newsletter to keep up-to-date with all future events.
Our current exhibitions will be on display until December 19th, so if you didn’t get a chance to come to the reception, be sure to stop by the galley before then!