Non-Profit NURTUREart’s Annual Benefit Brings Crowds, Fire Marshal to 57th Street


On Monday night beloved Bushwick non-profit gallery NURTUREart held its annual benefit party at 57th Street’s Bernarducci Meisel Gallery, with some 260 artworks up for grabs, plus another dozen or so available via Paddle8, a first for the Bogart Street art space. “There are two new things this year,” explained executive director and curator Marco Antonini, “the benefactor level tickets” — allowing attendees to select the work they take home before the event even opens, thus beating the rush of VIPs at 5pm and of regular ticket-holders at 7pm — “and the Paddle8 auction. We’re really upping the ante.”


The new, tiered ticketing system seemed to be a success, with “benefactor selection” labels dotting the walls during the event’s first hours, especially alongside works by some of the benefit’s biggest artists, like a creepy-kitschy porcelain sculpture by Beth Katleman, a series of polytypes mounted on canvas by Paul D’Agostino, and a terrific relief print by Saul Chernick.


The event was such a success that shortly after general ticket-holders began being let in at 7pm, the third floor gallery became jam-packed, and a fire marshal arrived on the scene, forcing organizers to only let attendees in as others left.

“There is such a thing as being too successful, so the owner of the building and the fire department are having a small meltdown downstairs,” explained NURTUREart board president Karen Marston. “So I’m in the terrible position of having to ask you to leave because there are people with tickets waiting outside.” And, indeed, at around 7:30pm the line to get into the benefit stretched down 57th Street to Sixth Avenue, though the crowd upstairs seemed to be enjoying itself far too much to be leaving anytime soon.

NURTUREart’s auction on Paddle8 continues through October 30. Below, some favorite works from the benefit:


Above: Nobutaka Aozaki, “Children of Duchamp #5.”


Above: Valery Estabrook, “#brunch #Fonda.”


Above: Christopher Moss, “Mikado.”


Above: Julia Kim Smith, “With Banksy: Great Artists Steal.” The evening’s only appearance by New York City’s current street artist-in-residence, as far as anyone knows.


Above: KK Kozik, “His and Hers 2.” The materials used in this work are noteworthy: “Oil on 22-carat gold leafed elephant dung paper.”

— Benjamin Sutton

(Photos by the author.)