Tuesday, March 13, 2012

13FOREST's Leaping Anniversary Celebration

Marc Gurton (left), and Jim Kiely (right)

Slipping into the cozy space, I shook snow from my coat and was greeted by the sound of violins and the warm smell of pizza, preparing me for a celebration.  The occasion: 13FOREST’s four-year anniversary of being in Capitol Square, serving the community and working with over 150 local artists.  It was Leap Day, which marked not only an extra day on the calendar but, for 13FOREST, a point of continuation.

Being relatively new to the gallery scene, I wanted to reflect on what it takes to keep a gallery going for four years, especially in this economy.   When I asked what the special ingredient was, owner Marc Gurton said, "passion, connection, and curiosity.”   

Marc uses his passion, his connections to artists, and his curiosity for the arts to bring 13FOREST continuously forward.  That curiosity brings him to "open studios and events for local artists,” and will lead him this week to walk all around New York City to take in The Armory Show.  Gallery manager Yarden Abukasis, who’ll be accompanying Marc, is looking forward to "seeing international artists and how their diverse work connects back to the artists of 13FOREST.”
The gallery's strength is evident in the quality of artists who have shown here. With variety in theme, medium, and style, the uniqueness of each artist at 13FOREST is emphasized by the way in which Marc and Yarden curate each show. For instance, the current exhibition, Ordo Naturalisfocuses on nature and the upcoming show, SightLines, will offer studies of architectural repetition and linearity.  
A mission of the gallery is “to showcase artists who wouldn't normally be seen.”  Both Marc and Yarden experience pride as they watch the careers of 13FOREST artists blossom. An example is Wade Aaron, whose work the gallery has been showing since before its move to Arlington.  Today Wade is the youngest artist included in the inaugural exhibition of the MFA's Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art. This is a tangible measure of the gallery’s success, and a source of some of the local community’s expressions of appreciation and support that were evident at the anniversary party.

By the next Leap Day, Marc and Yarden hope to reach out further to the corporate market and interior designers. This will allow 13FOREST to promote artists and their work to an even broader audience.  

Marc's curiosity, his connections to artists locally and from around the country, and his philosophy that a person has to be able to "live, breathe, and eat" by his or her business have brought 13FOREST success.  They will also contribute to the gallery’s ability to "leap" into the next four years… and beyond.

Working at the gallery, he says, "I never have a case of the Mondays"...even if the gallery starts its week on Tuesdays.

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