The Art Dealers Association of America named the first recipients of emergency grants, Friday, from its Hurricane Sandy relief fund. Three hard-hit Chelsea galleries —Wallspace, Bortolami Gallery, Derek Eller Gallery — and the neighboring non-profit art bookstore Printed Matter, Inc. were the lucky few to receive the first grants, distributed to member and non-member galleries alike, and funded by unsolicited donations from member galleries.
David Zwirner, whose 19th Street gallery was also hit by Sandy’s storm surge, donated $50,000 to the relief fund.
“We are grateful that our gallery has the resources to recover swiftly from the storm, but we recognize that some of our valued colleagues are in vulnerable positions,” Zwirner said during Friday's announcement. “The ADAA Relief Fund will help galleries to restore their spaces and continue their vital contributions to the art community.”
“We are making resources available as quickly as possible to the galleries most at-risk and we believe that these emergency grants will provide much needed funds that will help restore the community,” ADAA executive director Linda Blumberg added. “ADAA dealers are committed to supporting their colleagues and have responded with extraordinary generosity.”
Printed Matter suffered vast losses to their largely delicate inventory. In an open letter published last week, the beloved shop and archive of artists’ multiples and ephemera (directed by the inimitable AA Bronson between 2004-2010) wrote to its supporters that, while spared ground-level flooding, the store suffered major damage in its basement storage facility, which took on more than 6 feet of water, and, as a result “lost a sizeable amount of our inventory, including large quantities of Printed Matter publications, fundraising editions, as well a range of other stock, much of historical interest and value. Unfortunately, the Printed Matter Archive was also badly damaged, a portion of it irretrievably.”
The ADAA will continue to provide grants and loans to galleries impacted by the storm. Gallerists affected by Sandy can apply for the ADAA relief fund here.