The bright, mostly red, three-paneled painting of a guitar leaned against the bottom front window of the Ryan’s Daughter bar as a clue to passers-by and regulars: an art show was taking place in the bar’s upstairs room.
The show, organized by John Healy, featured mostly local artists. Healy, a marketing consultant for the event’s main sponsor, Big Apple Mini Storage, has been producing art shows in bars like Ryan’s Daughter, Phil Hughes and DTUT for about three years. “I love art and know that some can’t afford the ‘fancy’ gallery, so I like to find space available for those who may not have other options.”
Just minutes after the noon Saturday start time, Gerard Carry hit pay dirt, selling a painting of longtime Upper East Side institution, Di Lorenzo’s Repair Shop, for $300. (Interesting side note: When Boneventura Di Lorenzo retired last November, his party was held at Ryan’s Daughter, which is at 85th Street and First Avenue.)
Carry, who hails from Ireland but is a longtime resident of the neighborhood and in fact lives two doors down from the bar, specializes in realistic paintings of his neighborhood and land and seascapes of his homeland. “Painting what you know and have an emotional attachment to, for me, gives the paintings more truth and honesty,” he says.
Elise Margolis, who had ten of her paintings appear on the fictional set of the TV show “Friends,” displayed two different kinds of work - a fun folk art series titled “word paintings.” along with a collage made from cut and assembled paint-on-paper. Childhood friend Claudia Hanna called the collage series “very refined and moving.”
This was the first appearance for Margolis at one of these shows, so she was unsure how the day would go, but “ended up having a really great time. Many of my friends came out to hang out and to support my art. I met a fantastic group of talented artists and sold a few pieces.”
As Healy worked the room, he explained, “I enjoy bringing all the talent together. They are so diverse from young to old and are happy to have their work displayed, and if they make sales… even better.”
Along with Carry and Margolis, others who sold their work included Nancy Purnell, Carla Mele, and Walter De Forest, a Ryan’s Daughter bartender.
While local art was the main draw, complimentary house-made shepherd’s pie, lasagna, and salad helped satiate artists and patrons alike and a raffle livened up the festivities while raising about $300 to benefit Pieta House, a center to help prevent suicide and self-harm.
The next Healy-produced art show is slated for July 18 at DTUT (1744 Second Ave).
Of the artists, Healy says, “I like how they all support and encourage each other, and sometimes buy from each other. They like my concept because it’s local and simple.”
He concludes by calling Saturday “a great success and joyful day.”