Five galleries sit in a row on the northern edge of Chelsea, lined up on 27th Street between Eleventh and Twelfth Avenues. All of them are fairly small, by Chelsea standards, and a bit rougher around the edges, perhaps a bit more experimental, than your average neighborhood space. Unfortunately, all of them were also hit incredibly hard by Hurricane Sandy: an interactive New York Times map of flooding shows between 6 and 18 feet of water on that block alone.
Two of the galleries, Wallspace and Derek Eller, received money in the first round of the emergency relief grants set up by the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) in the wake of the storm; the other three on the block, Foxy Production, Jeff Bailey, and Winkleman, are in the same building as the first two, and suffered huge damage as well.
“The galleries on 27th Street were hit particularly hard by Hurricane Sandy, and the clean-up was complicated because of the unique nature of our building (in which the basements for each space on the entire block are connected, meaning the work to clean-up and restore them had to be coordinated),” dealer Ed Winkleman told Hyperallergic in an email.
That coordination may have helped solidarity, though, as it seems that the galleries that rebuild together, reopen together! All five of the 27th Street spaces will be opening their doors, two and a half months after the storm, this Saturday, January 12. They’re celebrating the occasion with a gallery-wide reception from 3 to 5 pm.
“We lived through this ordeal together, sharing horror stories at first and then resources and information as we began to rebuild,” Winkleman wrote. “It’s a beautiful thing, to my mind, that we’re all reopening the same time.”
Some of the galleries will reopen shows that were up for only a short time before the hurricane hit, while others are mounting new exhibitions; all of them sound interesting. Besides, what better way to spend Saturday afternoon than by seeing some art and showing your support?