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SUGAR Gallery: A Project-Based Art Space

By Elisha Neubauer

In Brooklyn, you'll find the door to SUGAR Gallery. Artist-run and founded, SUGAR is a project-based art space- bringing artists, viewers, and the artwork face to face in an intimate environment. SUGAR's word-of-mouth open call process allows for unknown artists to break into the exhibition world.

SUGAR was founded by artist Gwendolyn Skaggs- the seventh out of eight children. Skaggs tells us, "I was born to a carpenter and an artist/activist/homemaker in Indiana, right smack-dab in the middle of the middle class and white America. These characteristics come through in my work." Although she lives in Brooklyn, Skaggs sees herself as formed by her Indiana upbringing.

Skaggs' background is in installation art, so she approaches her gallery as an artist. "I am not a curator, gallerist, or art dealer," she tells us. "Therefore, I consider the exhibitions as a whole an installation/artwork." SUGAR, named after a Cocker Spaniel Skaggs found roaming the streets in 2007, is the second of her installation locations. Her former art installation was entitled Alcove- a cozy art space located in a beautiful hallway in the Chelsea art district.

When it comes to finding the pieces to include in her exhibits, Skaggs has a unique method. "An idea/concept strikes me, like a poem would to a poet, or an image to a painter, and I set out to find the components through word of mouth, artists submissions I receive through SUGAR, friends, etc?" explains Skaggs.

"Any caliber of artists or work, each work can participate as a "link", or a "kink", depending on the scheme of things." SUGAR tends to feature artists that are yet to make their big break in the art world. "At SUGAR we often display the lesser known artists," Skaggs said. "But everyone comes to art with their own history, and we're going to use that."

Online reviewers find Skaggs' gallery compelling. "With inspired, meaningful and thoughtfully curated shows exhibited in an intimate space, SUGAR's concept circumvents the standard definition of gallery in NYC," one says. Another reviewer notes: "SUGAR strays away from solo shows, choosing instead to create a work of art itself through the juxtaposition of the artists work among one another." With a unique place in the Brooklyn art scene, SUGAR is currently open by appointment only, so make sure to plan your visit in advance.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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