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Brooklyn Art Gallery Embraces Emerging Artists

By Kelly Church

Front Room Gallery has been providing developing artists with a place for creative discovery for 16 years. Front Room Gallery is a space that is "dedicated to exhibiting artwork by emerging and mid-career artists" who all range in specialties, including photography, conceptual art, video, audio, and installation. The combination of medium variety and watching the artists develop, Vance says, is contagious.

"The real excitement comes from seeing a new concept developed and realized, balanced with the many points of consideration to be a success and hold true to the test of time," Vance says. "Emerging artists have a freedom and openness to discovery that is very engaging, and it is easy to get swept up in their enthusiasm."

Not only does Vance get the pleasure of working with the artists as they develop a specific piece and see it through, but she also gets to witness first-hand the unique background and artistic perspective of each artist. Being a part of helping them establish their own individual voices in the art world is just part of why Vance loves her Brooklyn studio.

"Each artist we work with has a unique goal and it is an enriching challenge to help build and develop a new body of work, which brings clarity to a concept," Vance says.

Front Room Gallery is currently featuring Stephen Mallon and Thomas Broadbent, both tackling big ideas in their respective mediums. Mallon is a photographer who Vance credits with a keen eye for capturing visual moments with a great balance with scale, tone, light, and emotional impact. Mallon's first project with Front Room Gallery confirmed his ability to handle sensitive subject matters with great compassion and "intensity," according to Vance. He exhibited photos from Flight 1549, "the miracle on the Hudson" flight, and didn't disappoint.

"Each project has expanded and intensified his focus in defining key moments," Vance says in regards to his next project, a series called "Next Stop Atlantic" in which he chronicles the creation of artificial reefs via out-of-service New York City subway cars. Mallon's photography will be featured in a solo exhibit at Front Room Gallery this fall.

Broadbent utilizes a different medium: watercolor. Broadbent's artwork communicates complicated existentialist ideas through a difficult French technique called trompe-l'oeil. The English translation: "deceive the eye." Broadbent's series of paintings features everyday objects in unique positions to generate emotions from his audience.

"[Broadbent's] upcoming exhibition will continue themes that reference our tenuous balance with nature and new works that expand on these themes and reference celestial objects," Vance says.

In a fast-paced city, Front Room Gallery is a safe-haven for artists like Mallon and Broadbent who have the vision, but need a place for their art to call home. Vance says when the studio was founded, New York wasn't as welcoming of a place for these emerging artists. Now that more and more people are rushing to the Brooklyn area from all over the world with the hopes of making it in the art world, there is a greater sense of community among the artists. Still, it is important for talented but unknown artists to have a place where they can explore and grow.

"Finding artists that have a clarity in their directive paired with technical skill to resolve a finished outcome is a more difficult task than it may seem," Vance says. "With emerging artists, there can be a seed of an idea that lacks clarity and only time and dedication can bring that about. Locating and showcasing artists that have a high level of dedication, working towards creating a balance of clarity of concepts and skill, is what keeps us as a gallery engaged and why we continue today."

"El Dorado", by Peter Fox

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