The Best of Us, For the Rest of Us: A Three Part Interview Series (Part 2 of 3)

by Whitney Kimball on May 1, 2013 Bestivus

By now, we have a fairly good handle on New York art stars, but we hear less about the people who love them. In two years of writing for AFC, I’ve owed my art-viewing as much to artists as I have to devoted curators, gallerists, and writers working diligently behind the scenes, knee-deep with the rest of us.

Who are these unsung heroes of the art world? I asked leaders of various emerging art communities for their recommendations, and gathered a series of interviews. The Best of Us, for the Rest of Us.

Rod Malin

Guest Spot

Rod Malin with Tom Moody work, at Camel, Nov 2010. (Image courtesy of Bromirski on flickr)

Rod Malin’s Baltimore gallery-cum-residence Guest Spot may double as his home, but his effort is anything but casual. The home setting has both been a premise for himself and Baltimore-based curators, making shows that relate to dwellings and architecture. One could also see it as a challenge to artists: a way of seeing whether your work holds up outside the gallery framework.

Read our interview here.

Alex Ebstein and Seth Adelsberger


Julian C. Duron and Matthew Craven at Nudashank. (Image courtesy of Trippe, for fecal face dot com)

“If Paddy Johnson calls you a star, you must be doing something right,” Matthew Smith wrote in 2011 of Baltimore’s Nudashank Gallery. We won’t argue with that, nor would many people dispute Nudashank’s star power. Since founding the gallery in 2009, co-founders Alex Ebstein and Seth Adelsberger have established themselves as mentors, entrepreneurs, and rigorous curators, both at the gallery and on the road. They’ve done all of this from Baltimore by building a heavy online presence and frequent participation in art fairs, a model which seems to be more and more viable for emerging galleries outside New York. In terms of building from the ground up, they’re a leader.

Read our interview here.

Tom Weinrich

Interstate Projects

Tom Weinrich. (Image courtesy of Katarina Hybenova for Bushwick Daily)

Nothing’s in moderation with Tom Weinrich. Two years ago, Weinrich set out for Bushwick to start a woodshop business and his gallery Interstate Projects. It did so well that the venue was able to move from 56 Bogart to an expanded warehouse space down the road, quickly becoming one of Bushwick’s largest and most innovative galleries. This is thanks to the fact that Weinrich is clearly plugged into contemporary art landscape, both online and in the galleries; like Nudashank, shows at Interstate tend to feel very of-the-moment.

Despite all of that, Weinrich is careful not to forget his roots. “…I’ll always remember the hand written note that Hudson at Feature Inc. sent back to me in 2004 when I submitted work to his gallery,” he tells us. “It was very simple, saying something like “really interesting work, keep me updated”, but the immense generosity of that note was so important to me as an artist, and I think it means even more now as a gallery owner.”

Read our interview here.

Libby Rosof and Roberta Fallon


Libby and Roberta giving their exit interview for their art safari series

Surprise, surprise: we like art bloggers.

Libby Rosof and Roberta Fallon, co-founders of Philadelphia’s theartblog, might be the prime example of art bloggers who get a conversation moving. Over theartblog’s now ten-year life, they’ve helped give local artists a start through their unrelenting coverage of shows that would have otherwise gone undiscussed, whether through their annual Liberta awards or driving collectors around Philadelphia in a tour van. They tell us about how they went from friends at their kids’ playground, to a team of artists, to the city’s hub for art writing.

“[I]f you put up the show and nobody writes about it, and if there’s no material cultural sort of record of it,” Libby told me, “it’s as though the show didn’t happen.”

Read our interview here.

Deana Haggag and Catherine Akins

The streets of Baltimore

Whoop Dee Doo Baltimore. (Image courtesy of Piper Watson, writing for

MICA’s new curatorial practice program is verifiably changing the face of Baltimore this year. The rising class’s practicuum “Invited,” for example, brought artists into local businesses in a neighborhood-wide exhibition which culminated in a series of interviews.We were sold when we heard that last year, soon-to-be grads Catherine Akins and Deana Haggag had spearheaded Whoop Dee Doo Baltimore, the travelling Kansas City-based variety show hosted by artist Jaimie Warren. The project is one example of their ingrained focus on creating space for art outside the gallery system.

When asked about “Invited,” Deana told us: “We surveyed every business in our community and nearly 99% were willing, wanting to participate.”

Read our interview here.

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