This Month on Live Culture I revisit two artist-run institutions going strong and brave in a difficult art economy: ODETTA Gallery and the Ely Center for Contemporary Art.
The first guest is artist/gallerist Ellen Hackl Fagan about her art gallery ODETTA in Brooklyn, NY, which is now opening a second location in Chelsea. ODETTA has had many successful exhibits, participated in major art fairs, and is now onto a new iteration, partnering with 1st Dibs, as they open a brick and mortar flagship location in NYC. Bridging the online marketplace with contemporary gallery installation practices, Fagan seeks to broaden the gallery's audience to include designers, collectors, advertising agencies, and artists in one of the fastest growing developments in the city, at the intersection of Hudson Yards and the top of the High Line, one of the most frequented tourist destinations in Manhattan. For her first exhibit as a part of this venture, Ellen offers Bebop featuring art by Nancy Baker and Richard Bottwin, whose works are at once in contrast to one another, angular Bauhaus forms in wood playing against organic, Baroque collages on paper.
Ellen was one of the first guests on Live Culture in 2015, participating in its second-ever broadcast. Listen to the podcast of that here: http://marthalewis.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/live-culture-2.mp3
For More about ODETTA see here: http://www.odettagallery.com/
For the second half of the show, I am in discussion about the forthcoming open-call exhibition at The Ely Center of Contemporary Art - Our Bodies Ourselves- with artist/curator Debbie Hesse, exhibition organizer/artist Valerie Garlick, and Culinary artist Nadine Nelson. The John Slade Ely House in New Haven was the subject of the inaugural airing of Live Culture, when it was slated to close. Through the hard work of area artists, it has survived, re-invented and revived itself, and is gearing up for another large group show, this time addressing issues of consent, gender, equity, health, spirituality and identity.
Each year during Women’s History Month, ECOCA showcases In Grace We Trust, an exhibition that commemorates the philanthropic work of Grace Taylor Ely who transformed her home into a space for local artists to gather and show their work. Since her passing, the Ely Estate and Friends of John Slade Ely House of Contemporary Art have carried on this tradition, maintaining the building as a place that supports New Haven’s artist communities. In Grace We Trust addresses ideas of tradition and change: ' a nod to the past as we confront current societal challenges and rise together to create future narratives".
This year, the organizers took inspiration from Our Bodies Ourselves, the pivotal book first published in 1970 in Boston, on the cusp of the 2nd wave of feminism. The book became a trusted source of support for generations of women to claim control over their bodies.Nearly half a century after the first printing of Our Bodies Ourselves, society is still struggling with a system that allows for “inhumane legal restrictions, the imperfections of available contraceptives, the poor sex education, the highly priced and poorly administered health care that keep too many [people] from having this crucial control over their bodies.” (Preface to the 1973 Edition of “Our Bodies Ourselves”). Inspired by the work writers and editors of Our Bodies Ourselves have done over the years, this exhibition aims to create a safe, open forum in which to share concerns, hopes, and ideas.
For past Live Culture Episodes about ECOCA: //http://marthalewis.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/live-culture-6.mp3
For more on ECOCA see :https://www.elycenter.org/