Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chair Woman Blues

You hear about artists putting their total self into their art, but how often do you hear about a gallery owner with the same level of commitment? Few proponents of art in town posses the vitality and steadfastness of Uta Brauser, proprietor of Fish with Braids Gallery on Jersey (website here) Avene. There’s always something going on there and right now it’s Sleep of Doubt, work by Vincent Zambrano, the title is a nice spin on Hamlet’s sleep of death. The show is described as a re-imagining of Goya.
The morning of the 4th Street Festival of the Arts, I talked with her a bit. It’s not unusual, she’s friendly and her small but zesty space I pass by often. She was preparing for the art fest, going to do some face painting in her Creative Groove booth. Those who don’t know her, she is not just a Gallerina (or is that Galleriesta?) but the instigator behind Creative Grove, the weekly arts and crafts flea market down by grove. Try: Here Here & Here

She has cajoled and coaxed and pushed the artists to becoming more organized and vocal. She has helped many of them to see the value of solidifying their community, and becoming a more active part of the community at large. With Creative Grove she started a forum where they can actually make some money selling their wares. It’s hard work, not just coordinating the artists and crafts folks and the other vendors (shout out to Iris Records, where two weeks ago I picked up a rare Doug Sham CD, the one with Dylan and David Bromberg!) but dealing with the city officials, police and the very testy Grove Pointe tenants. Basically the official attitude of Jersey City towards supporting the arts has been mainly determining the size of the obstacles they’ll put in your way, not removing the obstacles. She has spent much time and effort negotiating obstacles. It is unbelievable the hassle and head aches she encounters just to set up tables once a week in a public space!

She painted her face as we chatted in the morning of the Fest. See, she wasn’t just promoting the face painting booth but the gallery show, painting a chair on her face that is featured in one of the Zambrano.

Now that is one dedicated gallery proprietor, putting her body to the wheel, or as it were, the chair. Face as billboard.

Later that evening, she did received at least some of the commendation she deserves. She was awarded he Dancing Tony by the 4th Street fest organizers. Please do you our own googling for the specifics, it’s an award the festival organizers bestow for supporters of the arts.

She gave a right on speech, not resting on the laurels but giving a call to arms. I didn’t take notes. She made a statement about how the city is using the cabaret license law to stop the arts or something to that effect. I am not doing it justice, so I’m not going to continue. I don’t think I have to; I’ve made reference in other blogs to this mounting conflict.

Uta Brauser has brought much needed commerce to the arts here, furthering what art should be—an integral part of community. Those on the pro-arts side of the current debate are lucky to have her as an ally and spokesperson.

She’s ready to paint an upside down chair on her cheek and neck to promote an artist, how often do you see that kind of personal dedication?

No comments:

Post a Comment