PATERSON, NJ - The Center City Mall is known as a place for shopping, dining, and entertainment. What you may not have known is that it is also a place for learning.
The Center City Galleries, located within the mall, provides art lessons for students and adults alike. Whether you want to learn oil painting, pastel painting, cartooning, airbrushing, or even sculpting, there is an experienced artist available to teach the techniques.
“With the schools cancelling the art programs, this is a very enticing place for children and adults alike to learn art,” said Carmine Pellosie, the Director General/ Curator of the gallery.
Aside from teaching, the gallery also offers karaoke, self-portraits, poetry, and other various activities for the public to enjoy.
Below is an excerpt from an interview with Pellosie:.
Why did you choose to set up an art gallery in Paterson’s Center City Mall?
I am a good friend of one of the mall owners. I explained to him how the kiss of death for a mall is empty stores; therefore, I suggested my friend for a space for artwork. I told him if we sell, we split the money.
What is your relationship with the art groups in the city?
We are a part of every group in the city. We support every group even though some of the factions are at war. Our main belief is our mast tag; “art, all media, like it or not.”
Can you explain how a gallery works?
A gallery is a venue for artists to display their work. The normal gallery charges to display the work, we do not. At the Center City Galleries, artists are given a period of time for the display and then they are asked to pick up their work and present new work. The artist figures out the price by the size of their ego, weather conditions, and attitude; in other words, what would make them happy if their art sold. The gallery receives a commission on this sale.
How does a gallery make a profit?
The Gallery’s profits are only the commissions made on the sales.
About how much does an artwork sell for?
We have artwork ranging from $1 to $10,000.
How do you select the artworks to be presented inside the gallery? Do you recruit or audition artwork?
We look at the art for sellability because we are basically a store.
Currently, what is the most popular piece that is being showcased?
The quad paintings, which are comprised of four or five pieces. They are being sold at a very reasonable $250. Also, David Buckbinder’s paintings are very reasonable. He is a very prolific painter. His art is comfort food in that your grandmother has paintings like his on the wall and it will remind you of your childhood.
Can you describe the local residents’ response to the gallery?
Everyone who visited the gallery loves it. The mall has to be commended for giving us the opportunity to display artists’ works, form local to as far away as Moscow. Hopefully, the community will respond to the mall for what it’s doing for them.
What's the track record of galleries in malls? Is there a mall gallery on which they modeled their business on?
I don’t think there are more mall galleries because a gallery is a personal item. In the very upscale malls, you will find art galleries because the prices compensate for the higher rents. It is much cheaper to do an individual gallery, such as a store type or turning a home into a gallery.
Is there any upcoming events taking place here?
The gallery each month has a showing of new artists. To state a date on this, you can see the upcoming events on Facebook at Center City Galleries. The public is always invited. At the free opening receptions, you can come to browse and enjoy the various artists’ works.
If you are interested in checking out the Center City Art Galleries, you are invited to join the reception of four Dominican painters on Thursday, August 18th, 2011, from 7 pm to 10 pm.