I am having a hard time letting go of summer. The new crisp air of the fall grasps remnants of the summer. Gradual warming colors of vegetation in the City’s parks and the rural areas of New York State and the Tri-state area, make me dwell on the spontaneous, unexpected beauty, wonders, and summer happenings that I have witnessed and experienced nearby my West Greenwich Village apartment and upstate.

Having been a Connecticut-born gal, I have roots and family there. Mostly raised in the Berkshires, it has afforded me a cornucopia of happenings and experiences throughout the years, particularly in the spring, summer, and fall. One benefit of working virtually is that one can still feel in touch with the diversity and cultural energy of the city while also feeling the richness that the countryside and all its communities can offer. Each equally diverse in nature, although some are more populated than others. So, I ventured out more often. Post-COVID has brought increasingly more people to the forefront of tangling and managing these two worlds in their lives, particularly New Yorkers like myself. One special experience of the summer was upstate in Wassaic, NY, where many artists, particularly from New York City, Brooklyn, found respite, creative energy, and community in remote places.

Getting out of the city and taking the Metro North to CT via the Grand Central will bring you to the many cultural activities in the Northwest Corner of CT and aligning NY towns such as Wassaic, NY, Millerton, NY, Kent, CT, Washington, CT, to name a few. In this case, I will highlight the Wassaic Project.


It is an art experience and community that is non-profit and run by several committed individuals to encourage and nurture the arts. When I revisited Wassaic it was like déjà vu. In the hamlet (a word used for a town that is too small to really call a town, but which still has a vital community), there was once a corn mill and a barn. At first, it was used for traditional mill purposes, then it became an auction for animals, and now it is a home for the Wassaic Project along with other surrounding structures. When I went into the barn, memories of an old neighbor of ours, who worked for the state but was a farmer in earlier years, took me to one of its cattle auctions when I was an adolescent. I remember how excited and curious I was. Everything was mesmerizing and fascinating: the particular fast naming, loud sound of the auctioneer’s voice in the barn… I could hear it replaying in my mind. And, to my pleasant surprise, the crudely hammered and arranged seating in the barn was still present at the gallery, as well as the old sign of the price of cattle.

The barn and its corals were converted into artists’ studio spaces still preserving its character. As you meander around each space of varying sizes and shapes, you have a chance to meet and talk to artists along the way. Many of these ambitious creators were from the city and hopped on the opportunity to apply and get a spot in one of these spaces. One was a graduate of FIT in Manhattan, another lived and worked in Brooklyn, and so on and so forth. This open studio showed their work and process to all that came. The artists were most elated to have the experience of space, and the offerings to the country, and also welcomed all the visitors providing a multitude of unique stories. Nearby was a restaurant/bar, which once was a brawling type of bar, and is now one for all to come. In between was another repurposed large barn, an old mill structure that had multilayers and served as a gallery of wonderful works of talented artists.

Outside one could enjoy a band the organization had invited, as it does in the summer, to play for those that came to visit. What more can one ask for? And this wonderful experience was absolutely free. For young artists, this is a fantastic opportunity to do studio practice, experience the country, and see life in a whole different way while still being only within two hours of the city. I recommend this to anyone who wants to drive to this beautiful part of the country, revel in nature, see art, make out, or recharge your batteries. The quaint and fantastic country towns are certainly worth the train or car ride. Stay a while or a few days.



When you are in New York, living in the West Village, there are always different, artistic, thought-provoking activities to experience. Particularly in places like Washington Square, happenings are always in the air. Whether it be the diverse functional art worn by park goers, the continuous song, dance, and music that plays in the different corners, benches, or grass areas of the park. It is human expression at its organic best. How many places can offer such freedom of expression, whether it be dressing in your own style, playing music (even on a piano), dancing, skateboarding, singing, playing games like chess, or creating and selling one’s art? All this is, once again, for free. Check it out, even in the cooler air of the fall it still has a lot to offer.


One thing that the virtual gallerist gains in a post-COVID virtual world is the freedom to develop one’s own schedule without the confines, expectations, and demands of a space. Don’t get me wrong, “virtual” still has its negatives and demanding challenges. But when I had physical space, I could not go to the museum as much as I wanted or had to miss must-see shows to hold down the fort. This is my first year liberated from the physical gallery space. In between my studio visits and appointments I managed to see museums that I often have not had time to check out very often. One of them is the Museum of Arts and Design near Columbus Square. Once, on a studio visit day, I managed to play a bit of hooky for a few hours to peruse and have lunch there.

This was a very invigorating change since I predominantly gravitate to painting and drawing and usually am drawn to places such as the Met, Guggenheim, and MOMA. Here I found the richness of design in functional wearable art, jewelry, installation with fabric, etc. The exhibition was inspired by fabric and how this medium is connected to and can be used to speak on the topics of activism, music, culture, and ephemeral phenomena. It also placed artists and some of their works in a context that the artists are often not generally associated with, giving the artist’s studio practice even more depth. There were works by Louise Bourgeois, Nick Cave, Jeffrey Gibson, Mark Newport, Judith Schaechter, Patrick Jacobs, and many more. There are discounts for many for certain days. Also if you can swing it, venture to the upper floor and dine at the “Robert”. The atmosphere is warm, the service and food were good, and what a view of upper Manhattan and its buildings, hustle and bustle, and, if my memory serves me well, the park! A great place for a date with a friend or just with yourself as I have had.


The roaming Gallerist will continue to roam but like every nomad one must breathe and have a rest.


Denise Bibro, the gallery’s director, recently made a trip to Brooklyn to see the studios of two talented local artists. Read her text about the wonders and creativity that can be found on the streets of this borough.


Fortunately, despite all the effects of COVID, the divisiveness of the country, the perils of war, and the compromised economy, art prevails. New York is an example of that. There are healthy morsels of talent thriving in all the boroughs of the city, which our Art In The Boros exhibitions have illustrated. Brooklyn continues to be, despite the increased costs of rent, a hotbed of hidden opportunities to see wonderful creatives finding their way to continue their artistic practice.

My most recent studio visits were made to two artists that have studios in opposite corners of Brooklyn. Both of these people are a testament to the fact that art is an integral part of the fabric of life in New York, which reaffirmed my belief that it will persevere despite the odds. These artists come from very different backgrounds, age groups, education, and experience. Nevertheless, they share a passion and unfailing desire to create. Their art is reflective of their unique personal experiences and I was amazed at the variety that I saw in their process, materials, and visual language.

If one does not know, the L train in New York is certainly a highway that connects one to a multitude of local artistic talent. In the area of East Williamsburg, I found Joe Hicks in his studio. A young artist, at least from where I stand, who is a designer by day and a studio artist by night. He paints whenever he can find the time while designing pocketbooks and spending time with his wife and two children. When you first get there you are greeted with a wide smile, deep and engaging eyes, and a blazing dark mane of hair. It is a welcoming sign when you have made such a trek.

The studio is full of unframed, un-stretched canvases on the walls and the floor, kind of wanton without being trivialized. Much of his work is inspired by his precocious toddler daughter who is also an artist of sorts. His works are colorful and painted with a sense of exploration and immediacy. There is a sense of freedom and liberation in the work that is endearing. Some works have loosely identifiable subjects and characters, others are very organic and spontaneous. Some of his most recent works that engaged me, were the ones where Hicks goes beyond the quickly drawn compositions of paint to incorporate swaths of irregular repurposed paper and fabric. The reused materials give the work additional girth, volume, and depth. The lively drawings then suggest the interplay of time and circumstance involved in their creation. Hicks’ works always convey a sense of immediacy of the present and in his recent works, one can also sense a past. The viewer is left with a feeling that the artist still wants them to keep guessing and exploring the intricacies of his paintings.

Taking the F or G train to almost the very end will bring one to Ford Hamilton in Brooklyn, an area that I haven’t been much except for a number of visits to see an old veteran friend of mine at the VA hospital. The journey proves to be eventful and worth the effort. To get to artist Ronald Katz’s residence and studio one has to get off the train, walk a bit, go over a bridge with the wiz of the traffic underneath to find a cluster of prewar buildings on Ocean Parkway. It was invigorating to observe the old workings of city construction in play and see a once ethnically uniform community’s diversification reflected by the people that went by as I moved on. An added plus to the experience of getting there was a vendor selling collectible vintage comic books, whose graphics were colorful and dynamic even if you didn’t care about Superman, Spider-Man, or Captain America. Another heaven of art? After approximately an eight-block walk I reached the prewar walk-up where I would eventually find Ronald Katz. I proceeded to do the three-floor walk up which, if anyone has ever experienced any of these pre-war buildings without elevators, seemed like six flights! My total partial and total knee replacements had a real stress attack! Nevertheless, it proved to be very much worth it. Ronald Katz is one to contend with. He immediately had my attention and respect after this experience. For more than thirty years he has climbed those stairs, many times, with his bike, art, and art supplies in tow. I know many artists in their twenties who would never stand the challenge. He is resilient and does it with no sweat.


When you go through the door of his apartment and then later into his second apartment, which is his studio, you see the wealth of artistic experience and heritage of a skilled and energetic artist. In addition, you see the proof of the depth and investment of his knowledge of art: art books, music, bones, rocks, and other ephemera that have helped hone his studio practice. He lives and breaths his art. The two apartments, like Hicks’ studio, display the excitement of creative exploration. Katz’s practice is more studied and scholarly honed. Hick’s is wanton and free and more organic. Katz’s strength is in the tenets of his experience and refined drawing and painting skills. He is a realist and figurative painter, which makes sense for a man whose vocation was in the sciences such as physics and chemistry. His works are also often informed by his travels and reflect what he has seen and felt from the natural phenomena that he has experienced in one form or another. In a pieces like “WELLFLEET AFTERNOON” and “TROPICAL SCENE – ST. MARTIN” the painting conveys a story that only a person who knows the characters and their particular vignettes can portray. Where the magic is more in the augment and the culmination of interpreted experience, as well as the values, timbre, and setup of the composition, the feelings that it evokes.

These two artists, who are strikingly different in their art and inspiration, are both a testament to human content at its best. The experience of both encourages one to continue to explore more of what is outside your door.