Up Before the Coop Board
Most Chelsea galleries are closed Mondays but expect crowds on West 25th Street this coming Monday, October 11. The reason? The Bowery Gallery is reviewing prospective members.
One of the longest-running artist cooperatives in New York, the Bowery was founded in October 1969 and has been in continuous operation since, in various locations. As its name implies, life began on the Bowery. Today it occupies premises at 530 West 25th Street, sharing the fourth floor – and a somewhat lethargic elevator! – with other coops of similar vintage, the Blue Mountain and Prince Street galleries.
The Bowery is a prestigious venue. Its annual national competition has been juried over the years by the likes of Louis Finkelstein, Lois Dodd, Jane Frelicher, Gabriel Laderman, Joan Snyder, Bill Jensen and Paul Resika, with Rackstraw Downes as juror this last summer. Styles include representational and abstract painting and sculpture. Current members and associates, of which there are around three dozen, include Temma Bell, John Goodrich, Barbara Goodstein, Barbara Grossman, Deborah Kahn, Lynette Lombard, Gael Mooney, Hearne Pardee, Deborah Rosenthal and Evelyn Twitchell, who recently concluded a show titled “Drawn from Nature” whose penetrating explorations of growth and form included exquisite sculptural reliefs in painted plaster, as illustrated.
The Bowery is entirely artist-run: there is no such thing as a Bowery bum anymore. In exchange for dues of $140 per month, an initiation fee of $500, and active participation in the running of the gallery, members are guaranteed a solo spot every three years and take part in group shows along the way.
Prospective members must bring three-to-five original art works, supporting materials etc, to the gallery between 4 and 6 pm. Just like artcritical, it turns out the reviewers work fast, as submissions are to be picked up that evening, at 8 pm. Warning: the Empire Diner is no more, so bring sandwiches.