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The Gitana Rosa: For the Love of Art- and the Earth

By Susanne Carter

Williamsburg is one of Brooklyn's most popular neighborhoods, energized by the creative energy of a lively arts, music, and, restaurant scene in a culturally diverse setting. At the Gitana Rosa, Vanessa Liberati blends fine art with progressive causes.

The Gitana Rosa Gallery is the first "green" art gallery to open in Brooklyn. It features contemporary art, including oil paintings, charcoal drawings, collage, sculpture, and photography by both emerging and mid-level career artists.

"I was always passionate about the environment and the fact that global warming is directly affecting our social and political climate," says Liberati, founder and executive director of Gitana Rosa. "The artists I work with are passionate about it also and it resonates in their lifestyles and beliefs." The Gitana Rosa hosts art exhibits throughout New York City- and the country- to raise awareness of environmental issues.

It also donates 10% of profits to an environmental group of the artist's choice. Liberati explains that, "It was not about the money raised but the awareness brought to the cause and the efforts of artists caring for their community and the world."

The gallery participates in various juried international fine art fairs, charity exhibitions, and fundraising events for environmental causes. It has worked with The Nature Conservancy, IFAW, EDF and other organizations to fundraise for climate disasters like the BP Oil spill, Hurricane Katrina, and the earthquake in Haiti. Liberati says,"We give back to our community by providing our space to stimulate dialogue, promote sustainable pathways of living and inspire positive ideas."

From the gallery's founding in 2006, Liberati's business model has incorporated the three Rs of sustainability: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Much of the gallery was designed with the use of salvaged materials: drywall, flooring, desks, lighting, and more. Liberati makes every effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as possible in her business. The energy is wind power; any paper used is made from 100 percent post-consumer paper and non-toxic inks.

"Everything Will Be Alright", by Fedele Spadafora

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