Meet Blair Clarke, the force behind Voltz Clarke Gallery. While she’s been a New Yorker for nearly two decades – even staying in the city through the lockdown – she remains a true Southerner at heart. As we await the return of in-person interactions (read: hugs), Blair found a few ways to embrace the change, including a new gallery space in the LES. Read on for their upcoming shows, plus a few of Blair’s faves, from face masks to reading material.
What’s your usual location, and where are you currently staying?
I stayed in the city throughout the entire lockdown, so feel proud to say I’m still right here in my home of close to 20 years in uptown Manhattan. Since our opening on October 14th for Heather Chontos’ “Rosengarten” exhibition, I’ve been working in our new gallery location on the Lower East Side. Shaking things up with a commute downtown has added a spring in my step!
Do you have any favorite podcasts, books, newsletters, etc.?
I appreciate all the incoming blasts from small businesses. At times it felt overwhelming to sift through emails, but behind every new message was a live team struggling to stay afloat – including Voltz Clarke Gallery! Cristina Alger’s novels kept me company, along with the new background sound of my daughters’ zoom school teachers!
Did you discover any new pastimes or creative outlets during lockdown that you’ll stick with?
PATIENCE! I’ve always been one to move really quickly and am always in a hurry. My entire demeanor has changed as I’ve found it’s more authentic to live in the moment and find peace in our slower pace of life. My travel schedule of course came to a grinding halt, but that allowed me to notice important small details I’d been quick to overlook.
What do you miss most from pre-Covid life, and what’s keeping you going right now?
Like everyone, I miss human interaction. Southerners love to hug (not just a pat on the shoulder, we bear hug), so I certainly miss closeness. I long to see people’s smiles again, although today’s masks are more beautiful than ever. My close friend Sara Bliss turned me on to the designer Three Islands and their face coverings are SO soft and comfortable – even for long periods. No complaining with these gems and my favorite hoops from Yasmine Collection NY hug earlobes perfectly without flying off when time for mask removal!
Any fall/holiday plans?
Voltz Clarke is thrilled to open a new solo exhibition in our Palm Beach location with the amazing Colony Hotel. The American painter, Joshua Avery Webster, has created six large geometric paintings to be on view in early November as the hotel safely reopens. We cannot wait to see these vibrant canvases installed. The palm tree shadows create a mini installation in the gallery space; it’s magical!
In New York, we have three talented female painters from three different countries. Natasha Law will open her solo show “Up Close” on November 19th, and on December 3rd, “My Time is Now” will open with Holland Cunningham exhibiting figurative works alongside Moufouli Bella who is showing in the states for the first time. This two person show is curated by Natasha Schlesinger and will be one not to miss!
As travel opens up, where will you be vacationing first?
Marfa Texas! We couldn’t be more excited to join Michael Phelan and Melissa Bent for their April art fair where we will be exhibiting the talented female painter, Field Kallop. The line up includes festive outdoor dinners and cocktails gatherings under the vast Texan sky. The perfect Spring vacation and no passport is needed!