September 7, 2010
Gallery 364’s Showcase Gets ‘Classier’ in Bay Ridge
by Harold Egeln (firstname.lastname@example.org), published online 04-02-2010
Classes for Students Helps Hone Artistic Skills and Talent
By Harold EgelnBrooklyn Daily Eagle
BAY RIDGE – Three years ago, a new art “star” first lit up in southwest Brooklyn, brightening an art gallery void and acting as a center of gravity for attracting creative people out of the woodwork and into the limelight.
Since its auspicious opening in the spring of 2007, Gallery 364, housed on the first floor of an historic brownstone on a tree-lined street now ready to blossom, has achieved growing popularity and success as word of its theme shows spread throughout Brooklyn.
A big step forward, said Gallery 364 founder, curator and photographer Georgine Benvenuto, happened when the gallery, at 364 72nd St., was included in the borough president’s annual bus tour of Brooklyn galleries. Now famed for its crowd-drawing theme shows and sales, Gallery 364 is hosting more classes in its studio space.
“We’ve launched a drawing class that has been a hit for students,” said Benvenuto, standing in the front-room gallery studio surrounded by chairs and drawing equipment. On the walls were paintings and photographs from the gallery’s recent “Love/Desire” exhibition.
The drawing class is an eight-week-long course that has been conducted in the evenings and is taught by artist David Jon Kassan (www.davidkassan.com), known worldwide for his realistic paintings and drawings, in the studio. “The students really get into their drawings, and David is superb in the way he conducts the classes and guides the students,” Benvenuto said.
“It’s such a cool experience to get out of the studio to share and develop painting concepts with students all over the world,” said Kassan on his web site. He has taught classes in Australia, Santa Fe and Belgium, and his art is in the model of the Ashcan School of American Realism.
Among the winning entries chosen by the judges in the recent Love and Desire exhibit and sale were “Lover” by Roz Sterling as best in show, and honorable mentions “Loveless” by Marina Bozen and “Love and Desire” by Dave Foss.
Another highly regarded work among all the gems on display was “You Belong to Me” by Michele Delfin. Benvenuto said, “She’s 15 years old and already an amazing talent. Everyone here was really impressed by her work.”
As with many of “Bay Ridge’s first art gallery and studio” theme shows, guest judges selected the winners. Judges for Love/Desire were painter Kassan and photographers Anthony Almeida and Gary Heller.
Expansion of Gallery 364’s cooperative efforts into the community and partnership with civic, business and nonprofit venues are in the works, Benvenuto said. She was excited among the gallery’s growing role in southwest Brooklyn and the constant increase of creative people drawn to Gallery 364.
Already Gallery 364 has been active with the Brooklyn Women’s Services office in Bay Ridge, providing photos for its walls. The gallery also conducted a pilot program of photographic therapy classes that Benvenuto said had a positive impact on its participants, encouraging them and providing them with creative and usable skills.
With warmer weather around the corner, Art In The Park will soon resume in cooperation with the Narrows Botanical Garden at Shore Road Park between 69th and 73rd streets, which provides outdoor space for artists and photographers to display and sell their works.
Art in the Park is a joint effort by Gallery 364 and the nonprofit, volunteer garden organization. It has been in action since 1995, when it cleaned the parkland and created Brooklyn’s second botanical gardens spot with a crew of community “green thumbs.”
The Love/Desire show and sales has ended, and Gallery 364 is preparing to announce a new theme exhibit soon. For appointments for gallery visits and information about classes and other activities, call (917) 767-3848 and visit www.gallery364.com.