Online Viewing Rooms have been a welcome and creative way for museums and galleries to connect with lovers of art throughout this difficult time. It has allowed us to visit many more exhibitions and view more artists than we would normally be able to. It has also allowed us to explore works of art out of town, out of state, as well as other countries.
Expanding on the gallery model, Claire Oliver Gallery announced a new addition to its website. Its inaugural VR Experience will take us to the Bisa Butler: Portraits Exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art.
This new and ongoing programming will feature tours of gallery artist’s museum exhibitions, gallery art fair booths, and of course solo exhibitions at Claire Oliver Gallery, Harlem.
‘Portraits’ is the first solo museum exhibition for Butler, featuring twenty-five of her quilts. Curated by Associate Curator, Michele Wine, the exhibition was originally scheduled to open to the public on March 15th. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the exhibition is hung and has yet to open.
This virtual exploration will take viewers from the grounds of the Katonah Museum of Art, through the front door to the entrance desk, and into the two-gallery viewing areas ~ The Sally and Volney Righter Gallery and Mary L. Beitzel Gallery.
Claire Oliver Gallery is proud to announce the opening of our online salesroom with a limited-edition poster series called Art is for Everyone. The inaugural poster will feature a work created by artist Bisa Butler entitled, “I Am Not Your Negro” in a limited edition of 500. Priced at $50, proceeds go to benefit Harlem Grown and their “Harlem Helping Harlem” initiative, which partners with local restaurants affected by the COVID shutdown to provide hot meals for Harlem residents in need. The poster series Art is For Everyone will be an ongoing program by the gallery to create accessible artworks while supporting their vibrant community in Harlem.
“Art is for Everyone was conceptualized many months ago but has now taken on new urgency in light of the COVID19 shutdown, and the many new challenges facing our neighborhood” states Claire Oliver. “We stand in solidarity with our longtime Harlem neighbors and know that through the incredible strength of our community fabric, our city will emerge stronger than ever.”
The 36 x 24 inch poster features an artwork originally crafted entirely of fabric by Bisa Butler and commemorates her inaugural exhibition at Oliver’s Harlem gallery as well as her museum exhibitions at the Katonah Museum of Art and The Art Institute, Chicago. I Am Not Your Negro gets its title from a James Baldwin quotation and was inspired by the Black intellectuals who traveled outside of the United States in order to be able to have careers as writers, poets, philosophers, artists, and thinkers. This work is a timely example of how artists lead intellectual thought. James Baldwin said it clearly then as now: “how much more time do you want?” Claire Oliver Gallery will continue to lead by our actions.
Proceeds from the posters will benefit Harlem Grown, a nonprofit organization that has mobilized in the face of the pandemic and resulting food insecurity crisis to partner with neighborhood restaurants to provide meals to Harlem residents in need. Each $50 poster will provide meals to neighborhood shelters and support a local restaurant. In partnership with local community restaurants, the HG Meals program enables Harlem Grown to provide hot, nutritious meals to youth, families, and community members living in shelters throughout Harlem who are in economic distress while concurrently alleviating economic stress for the Harlem based community restaurants.
Clair Oliver Gallery is located at 2288 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, New York, NY.