STAPLETON — A renovated Staten Island gallery will open to the public next week with a new show featuring artists who obstruct or hide sections of their paintings.
The Staten Island Artist Building Corporation Gallery (SIABC), at 73 Wave St., will host an opening for its free "Obscured/Omitted" show on March 26, the first exhibit since the space shut down for renovations several months ago.
"Art is about what's in front of you, but it isn't always, so let's find artists that think what meets the eye is not the most important part," said Raul Barquet, curator of the show.
"Whether it's something left out or covered up or hidden, I want to find artists who use that to their benefit."
"Obscured/Omitted" features about 20 paintings by local street artist Chris RWK, Brooklyn-based painter Laura Bochet, Lauren Rinaldi from Philadelphia, collage artist Gregory Moncada from Long Island and Eric Haacht from the United Kingdom.
The gallery partnered with Barquet, founder of Port Exhibitions, to curate regular shows at the re-tooled space along with artist talks and workshops.
"My goal is always to present something that could be presented in Chelsea, but do it in Staten Island," Barquet said. "I think we deserve that, too."
The SIABC Gallery closed its doors several months ago so that the owners could change it from an event space and focus more on gallery shows, said Calvin Motte, director of operations for SIABC.
"We took a little water damage, which was kind of the precursor to us renovating it," Motte said. "We wanted it to be more of a gallery, that was the idea."
They tore down the bar and two stages inside, giving it more open space, redid the ceilings, removed the old tiles and built a small art supply store in the back, Motte said.
Aside from regular shows, the space will be used to offer a membership program so artists can use the gallery as a co-working space.
"There are going to be tables where people can work around other creatives," Barquet said. "It's going to be a very active space."
Barquet was brought in to curate the gallery and plans to bring in artists from around the world who haven't had a chance to display their work in the borough yet.
"I'm excited about bringing in work and artists that people haven't seen," Barquet said.
The Obscure/Omitted exhibition will have an opening reception on March 26, from 6 to 10 p.m., at the SIABC gallery, 73 Wave St. The free show will run until May 7.