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Art + Design. Wit, humor and WOW


In New York, thousands art connoisseurs, collectors, gallery owners (and their staff), interior designers converged on the Park Avenue Armory to raise money for charities.

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On a few cold November evenings in New York, thousands of well-heeled art connoisseurs, collectors, gallery owners (and their staff), interior designers and others who just like a great cocktail party and stunning objets d’art, converged on the Park Avenue Armory to OMG, OOO and AhAha over original works of great beauty (and great prices) to raise money for charities (including the Dia Art Foundation and Planned Parenthood NYC). Ruinart, Goyard, Lalique and InCollect participated as event sponsors.

Fifty-six gallery owners from 11 countries (including the USA. Europe, the UK, Germany, Belgium, France, Denmark, Italy, Monaco, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden) from 30 international galleries – presented a global approach to modernism. The Salon displayed (for purchase and admiration) historical, modern and contemporary furniture, original designs and late 19th- 20th century art.

 Value of the Creative Economy

In 2015 the value of arts and cultural production in the USA was $763.6 billion, amounting to 4.2 percent of gross domestic product. The arts contributed more to the national economy than construction, mining, insurance, accommodations and the food service industries.

  • Creative artists are an economic asset in the USA and in 2015, thanks to the artists, the US had a $20 billion trade surplus in arts and cultural commodities (America exported $63.6 billion and imported $42.6 billion of arts and culture).


  • Consumers of the Creative Economy spend over $102.5 billion on the arts, including goods and services, admission tickets, food, lodging and gifts (2017).


  • The arts and cultural sector provide a large number of jobs (4.9 million in 2015), accounting for 3 percent of all US jobs, which, collectively, paid workers $372 billion.

States Prosper from the Arts

Among the states, the arts account for the largest share of Washington’s economy, 7.9 percent or $35.6 billion. Relying on the film and television industry, California’s art economy delivers the most money among the states, with $174.6 billion (7 percent).

New York ranks second in both categories, with the arts bringing in $114.1 billion (7.8 percent) to the economy. The state’s 462,584 arts workers earned a collective $46.7 billion (2015).

Delaware relies the least on the arts, which comprise only 1.3 percent of the state’s economy, or $900 million.

The Event: The Salon Art + Design Show

Since many artists showcase their newest works at this event, it appears at the top of the art world’s “to do” list. I would have liked to acquire just about every piece that was displayed but, time, space and limited resources prohibits this activity; however, I can recommend a “few of my favorite things.”

Curated Selection

  1. Molly Hatch. Todd Merrill & Associates Studio. New York

Molly Hatch brings the WOW to contemporary art. She has transformed what had been a cliché (wall – hung painted dishes popular in the 1940s) and turned the concept into collectable works of art that fit the millennial lifestyle (mobile, unfettered and changeable).

Hanging plates was a traditional way of displaying decorative dinnerware and has been part of many cultures from Europe to Asia. Centuries ago, elaborate displays of plates in a home was a sign of wealth and high social status.

Today, Hatch designs her plates to be hung on walls so they can be observed and admired. Her oversized and color-driven palate encourages viewers to reconsider what is new and what is now; what was ordinary is now extraordinary.

Hatch was born in 1978. Her mother was a painter and her father, an organic dairy farmer. She studied drawing and ceramics, obtaining her BFA from the Museum School in Boston, MA. After college she worked with potter Miranda Thomas in Vermont and ceramic residencies continued in the US and the West Indies. Her MFA in ceramics is from the University of Colorado, Boulder. In 2009 she was awarded the arts/Industry residency in Pottery at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin.

Hatch currently works from her home studio in Northampton, MA. In addition to ceramics, she is a writer, artist-designer and creates fabric patterns, furniture, jewelry, prints, pen and ink drawings, and paintings. She is inspired by historic trends in fabric, font, ceramics and furniture, acknowledging a contemporary life-style that includes nods to hip-hop, indie song lyrics, text messages and collected colloquiums.

  1. Hubert Le Gall. Twenty First Century Gallery

Maxou Armchair (2018)


French designer Hubert Le Gall was born in Lyon in 1961. He was a management major in college and upon graduation, moved to Paris (1983). In 1988 he began to paint and sculpt, designing furniture pieces that were boundary spanners, linking the poetic, and fantasy with the functional.

He is inspired by what is surreal but with whispers (and shouts) to Greek and Roman civilizations, French 18th century, Empire, Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. He has also been inspired by Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau, the Surrealists and Max Ernst.

His work gained international applause in 1995 when he was discovered and promoted by gallery owner Elisabeth Delacarte. His first exhibit was at the Parisian Galerie Avant-Scene and the works displayed (including daisy tables and flower commodes), have become treasured as his signature pieces.

  1. Rich Mnisi. South Africa


South African born Rich Mnisi started his enterprise in 2014. He is noted as a Leader in the Science of Fashion and recognized as the Africa Fashion International Young Designer of the Year (2014).

Mnisi’s seductive leather chaise takes the shape of Nwa-Mulamula’s (The Guardian) representing the presence of his great-grandmother. It is her existence and her teachings that last forever through storytelling, generation after generation. The stool, in the shape of an eye with gold puddles,” … represents her tears, which were never in vain. Without her pain and her experiences, I would not exist. I couldn’t be the person I am today” (Rich Mnisi).

The sensuous forms are timeless and their essence is uniquely African while being universally fascinating.

  1. Reinaldo Sanguino. Future Perfect Gallery. New York City.


Reinaldo Sanguino was born in Venezuela and is currently working in New York City. His art and ceramic pieces pay homage to the vibrancy of his environment and each unique piece uses the medium of clay as both structure and canvas.

Sanguino graduated from the School of Visual Arts Cristobal Rojas in Caracas, Venezuela. He developed his technique based on his interest in Meissen porcelain and its importance in European history. He is inspired and influenced by graffiti – style painting and his work commands attention because of the vibrant colors, textures and malleable materials.

In 2007 he was a nominee for the Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award and one of the artists participating in the El Museo Del Barrio 5th edition 2007-2008 Biennale, “the (S) Files” in New York City.

Sanguino’s works have been on display at the Sultan Gallery, as part of the Dean Project New York; the Museum of Arts & Design, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; the MINT Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He made his Design Miami/debut with The Future Perfect (2017).

  1. Pamela Sabroso & Alison Siegel. Heller Gallery. New York

Pamela Sabroso received her BFA in Crafts and Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University (2007) and Alison Siegel was awarded her BA in Fine Arts from Alfred University (2009). Currently they live and work in Brooklyn, New York.

They started working together in 2014 finding that their ideas emerge and merge through drawings, discussions and the physicality of working close together. Jointly they are adventurous and bring a new fresh and unique quality to each object they create. The final works are fun, clever, animated, unconventional and endearing. Definitely working in the 21st century, they share a creative freedom that has its roots in the early American Studio Glass movement.

The labor-intensive works starts from making parts and wax molds for blowing glass and extends to glass blowing. Sabroso, discussing her work with Siegel, “…in order to be creative you have to allow yourself to be vulnerable. When you are honest about who you are, you reveal a unique and strange perspective. Our combined creations are Stranger Together.”

  1. Frank Lloyd Wright. Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts. New York

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)

Wright was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin (1867). During his 70-year career as an architect, Wright created over 1100 designs. Although he entered the University of Wisconsin (1885) and studied civil engineering, he soon became dissatisfied with this field. When he worked for Joseph Silsbee on the construction of the Unity Chapel, he realized his passion for architecture so he moved to Chicago and apprenticed with the architectural firm of Adler and Sullivan, working directly with Louis Sullivan (1893).

He then moved to Oak Park, Illinois and started to work from his home studio where he developed a system of design developed from grid units with a focus on natural materials that became known as the Prairie School of Architecture.

During the 1920s – 1930s he spent his time teaching and writing. In 1935 he started to work on Fallingwater, his most celebrated residential design. In the 1940s – 1950s he focused on Usonian designs that reflected his belief in democratic architecture, offering middle class residential options.

In 1943 he designed the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in NYC. The museum opened in 1959, six months after he died and is noted as his most significant work.

The Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts Gallery in New York started in 1998 by a New York attorney. Today the gallery specializes in American Art (1900-1950), including Ashcan, Modernist, Urban Realist, Social Realist and Regionalist paintings, sculpture and works on paper.

The Hoi Polloi Attending the Event


Look for the Salon in November 2019. Make your reservations early… this is a stellar event for anyone who finds the worlds of art and design fascinating.

© Dr. Elinor Garely. This copyright article, including photos, may not be reproduced without written permission from the author.

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About the author

Dr. Elinor Garely - special to eTN and editor in chief, wines.travel