The owners of The White Room Gallery in Bridgehampton, Andrea McCafferty and Kat O’Neill, are forward looking gallery owners. In an interview with co-owner Kat O’Neill, she was honest and forthcoming about what’s next at the gallery. We at hamptons.com thank her for taking the time to share her insights and thoughts with the website about the gallery along with upcoming events.
Q.) What exciting shows are coming to the gallery this season and why should someone make an effort to go see them?
(Kat O’Neill) “Effort is in the reward. Post covid any journey even to a port-a-potty should be deemed a wonderful adventure but our hot summer line-up is in a word, “Cool.” Oh Pool Boy is up until July 11th. It is a celebration of the East End. All the energy of island life with the acclaimed pop king Nelson De La Nuez as the featured artist. And then we switch gears for an abstract quickie titled This Is Different featuring large works from Linda Colletta, one of our truly different abstract artists. That is on view July 13th-July 18th with an opening reception Tuesday, July 13th, 5-7. And then we have the inimitable Russell Young for our Once Around exhibit, that runs July 20-August 15th with the opening reception Sat, July 24th, 5-7. What fun would life be without iconic femme fatales and bad boys. Life is all about choices. There is that line. Some toe in. Some step right over it. And then we close out the summer season with Stray the Course which features artists whose perspective and approach are truly in their own lane. Money artist TRAN$PARENT, abstract artist Bob Landstrom, painter Jane Waterous and sculptor Lina Condes. On view August 2oth-September 19th with the opening reception Sat, August 21st, 5-7.
August 12-15th we will also be across the street at Market Art & Design. The arts are nothing if not resilient and of course when we heard the fair was back on, we were all in with 2 booths and a roster of great talent. Out of 80 participating galleries we might just be the only one with a digital canvas. The NFT world is a world like no other and we have very much enjoyed navigating the turns with our digital master artist Chad Knight.
Artists at MAAD are Nelson De La Nuez, Russell Young, Craig Alan, Mr. Brainwash, and TRANSPARENT, Jane Waterous, Chad Knight, Seek One, Linda Colletta, Cabel Molina, Sylvie Perrin, Lynn Savarese, Martha McAleer, Joseph Kraham, James Leonard and Lina Condes.”
Q.)How did the Covid Pandemic alter you personally and the White Room Gallery? Did you learn any important lessons?
(Kat O’Neill) “I’d like to say we both saved a lot on lipstick, but we don’t wear lipstick so that’s out. We can say that we both were recipients of a heavy dose of virtual learning aka gaming in my case. Andrea’s daughter was much more responsible. With my son it felt like I was back in 8th grade as I had to refresh myself on the world wars, To Kill A Mockingbird, quadratic equations and the lunar eclipse cycle and that was just one night as we tried to make up for 3 months of non-participation. On the bright side, he got much better at Boggle.
But on a more serious note, we think the greatest lesson learned was appreciation. We took simple freedoms like grabbing a drink, giving a hug and seeing a smile for granted. When what is naturally expected is gone it’s quite revelatory. And sadly, we both like many others, lost people to covid so the impact will be forever felt. May we never be a portrait of wannabe surgeons and bank robbers again.
As for the Gallery, we had to close for 3 months which was challenging as we did not qualify for any assistance, but fate intervened, and our online sales picked up significantly. People wanted to beautify their homes during covid. Perhaps because it was their mandatory 24/7 refuge. Or perhaps, as the great painter Gerhard Richter said, “Art is the highest form of hope.” Or maybe they were just so bored there was nothing to do but binge on Netflix and shop.”
Q.)Why is art so important now more than ever and how would you describe the climate in the art world in terms of health, growth and prosperity?
(Kat O’Neill)”There have been so many changes in the world over the centuries, not all good, but art has held steadfast in its import. We think that is a wonderful commentary on humanity. There is something in the spirit of humankind that recognizes the artistic journey. An institution like art that has lasted thousands of years is as healthy now as ever. Though the market is flooded with cheap reproductions and self-promotion platforms, collectors and artists see the value in accreditation, and we provide that authenticity.”
Q.)Tell us something special about the White Room Gallery?
(Kat O’Neill) “We have been described as a refreshing oasis of authentic art with must-see exhibits and have been voted the best Gallery in the Hamptons by artists and collectors every year since opening in 2015.
We are artists, curators and businesswomen with forethought because we believe creativity is a commodity that needs to developed, promoted and preserved.
We have a partnership with Cliff Young Ltd at the Design Center, 200 Lex, #505 @ 32nd St. We curate the art, they the design. It is Art by Design. Literally.
We exhibit year-round…often doing charity fundraisers through performing arts.”
Visit White Room Gallery 2415 Main Street, Bridgehampton, NY or at TheWhiteroom.Gallery