Just a couple of blocks away from the Jefferson L stop is a brand new art gallery in an unexpected location, an alleyway garage.
The space, properly named Garageland gallery, was born when Kerry Law, a Ridgewood resident, artist and art teacher, applied for and received a City Artist Corps grant to turn his garage, where he creates much of his work, into an active gallery for local artists.
“The proposal included that garages were a unique aspect to Ridgewood,” Law remarked. “The walls of the garage were cinder block, so I used the grant to make the walls suitable to hang art, which took a lot of work. I wanted to transform my garage into a more usable space and be of service to the community. Part of the idea is to create opportunity, in some small measure, for artists.”
Garageland gallery’s debut show, titled “On the Ridge,” took place in mid-September.
“On the Ridge” included 10 Ridgewood artists and presented their work about living in the community. Featured artists included Jeff Fichera, Dasha Bazanova, Limea Monet, Ellie Murphy, Carri Skoczek, Elizabeth Donsky, Zak Vreeland, Matt Mahler, Becky Yazdan and Kerry Law.
Law’s reasoning behind “On the Ridge” is derived from his belief that, “Ridgewood is a multi-layered neighborhood and home to many artists whose means of expression are as unique as their experiences.”
“Known for its historic architecture, Ridgewood artists find inspiration in their immediate surroundings,” Law added.
Depicting Ridgewood in various ways, each artist had a different style through their chosen materials. There were paintings, sculptures, fabric art, photography and assemblages. Each piece was inspired by the neighborhood.
“Jeff Fichera creates observational paintings of the view from his studio window, often of backyards, that reveal what is behind the facade,” Law shared. “Zak Vreeland’s piece ‘Frame’ is reminiscent of the stained glass that is common in the houses in the area.”
“Lemia Monet’s photographs capture personal moments as a resident with a keen eye for the poetic,” Law added. “Some artists are drawn to the natural world that exists in our environment. Ellie Murphy’s evocative fabric work entitled ‘Bull Rushes’ is inspired by the wild growth within the Ridgewood Reservoir. Elizabeth Donsky’s work is based on her garden, something that many of our residents take great pride in.”
“Matthew Mahler’s spiraling work could be read as the relationship between the natural world and the urban layout of streets,” said Law. “Becky Yazdan’s abstracts draw their titles from, and conjure memories of, local landmarks, such as ‘Vixen,’ a nearby ‘gentleman’s club.’ Dasha Bazanova’s paintings of ‘alley cats’ are inspired by the creatures that patrol our own gallery and environments. Carri Skoczek’s Voodoo dolls serve as talismen to the spirit world that surrounds us.”
Law’s own work, painted wooden gravestones, take note of Queens “being the cemetery of the city.”
Law is planning for Garageland gallery’s next show to be held around late October near Halloween. Keeping in theme with the spooky season, the name of the show will be “The Severed Head.” It will feature the work of Karen Schifano, Lawrence Swan, Michael Ballou, Oliver Jones and Garry Nichols.
To discover Garageland gallery’s location and to learn about upcoming events, please follow @garageland_gallery on Instagram to find out about the next show and more upcoming events.
All images courtesy of Garageland gallery.
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