Nicole and I are back from our grand adventure in New York City! For the last two weeks of August, we set up Pop Up Curio in the art gallery space at Con Artist Collective on Ludlow Street in the Lower East Side. The purpose of the trip: To spread the word about the special collection of antiques and oddities at The Curio of Norfolk, LLC.
When we rolled in with boxes of stuff and furniture on our trusty box truck (nicknamed Van Diesel), the artists that work daily at the collective seemed genuinely shocked to see us transform the usual gallery space into a fully formed time capsule. We looked like an Old World shop transported there from France or Belgium. The main comment we got off of the street was “Wow! Are you here permanently?”
It was certainly exciting to be back “home” (we both lived in the area growing up). But it was even more exciting to share our treasures with the Lower East Side community. We had many lively conversations about our travels, politics, arts, sciences, literature...
The main topic of conversation was our theme, Women in Motion. All objects we brought with us had to do with how women have worked, played, dressed, and traveled over time. It was an experiment in curating a small antiques collection.
We also included a spur-of-the-moment addition during the second week. We dyed men's briefs and socks in Kool Aid, dried them at a laundromat, and hung them from gold chains at the center of the gallery space. You ask, “Why?!” It was a protest against the pardoning of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose rather discriminatory actions have included requiring male inmates to wear pink underwear and socks and providing a sweltering outdoor jail with just tents for shelter. Something had to be said. And the local shops and laundromat were extremely supportive while we were creating it, too!
My favorite moment at Pop Up Curio was during the solar eclipse. We used mother of pearl Tiffany Studios opera glasses that we bought in Virginia to see the eclipse. Turning the glasses backwards and toward the sun, we were able to project the whole movement of the moon across the sun onto a piece of paper. It drew a bit of a crowd at the peak. Viewing the eclipse in style...
Until next time, New York!