GAS Gallery and Studio Opens
Maplewood's far-flung Ridgewood Road commercial strip gets a jolt of new energy.
If you don't want to go to Chelsea (apologies to Elvis Costello) to see great art, now you don't have to. GAS gallery and studio opened at 411 Ridgewood Road last Saturday, bringing a great new addition to Maplewood's burgeoning arts scene.
Framing Mill owner Rick Hauser had been thinking about expanding his gallery space for quite some time, but wanted to stay close to his Ridgewood Road shop. He told Patch, "I always wanted to expand and grow with the Maplewood art community. I love the area."
Opportunity finally knocked when a nearby antique store, Remember Me, moved to a new downtown location and morphed into Revolution Home. Hauser then joined forces with photographer Micha Hamilton and artist Gerard Amsellem to create GAS gallery and studio.
GAS debuted on Saturday night with an opening that featured work from twenty-six artists: Walter Zimmerman, Geralyn Robinson, Sandra Cherlap, Jane Dell, Greg Leshe, Steven King, Susan Napack, Joy Yagid, Jeremy Moss, Bob Krasner, Berc, Elizabeth Winchester, Leonard Merlo, Mikel Frank, Tara O'Leary, Nancy Tobin, Robert Ramos, Larry Dell, Russell Christian, Debra Trebitz, Lauren Rutten, Rick Parker, Lisa Pressman, Micha Hamilton, Howard Stein and B. John Kaufman.
The 15' x 40' GAS space is multi-purpose and will function as a gallery, allowing Hauser to show more artists in greater depth. Hamilton will also use the space as a photography studio, and Amsellem to create artworks.
There are plans to hold events there too, including an upcoming fundraiser for Haiti in collaboration with Geralyn's Art Studio. There may be a mini-indie film festival. Stay tuned for more details.
Maplewood artist Sandra Charlap whose work "Sugar Skull" was on display at the opening said, "I love this space. It's fantastic and gorgeous. The local art community is well-represented, it has exactly the right vibe."
Hauser, Amsellem and Hamilton can absolutely take the credit for that. "We committed to the space in October and did all the renovations ourselves, which took three months." Hauser noted, "Professional contractors might have only taken three weeks to get the space ready, but at least there were no big, bad surprises."
At Saturday's party, Jay Rosenblatt of West Orange offered, "There are a lot of artists locally creating a lot of work. This is a very modern and nice space, perfect for the neighborhood." Photographer Jeremy Moss told Patch, "It's such a rarity to get twenty-six artists coordinated in the same show. That's a testimony to Rick. People come out to support him. This is fabulous for the town."
Tom Waldman who lives nearby agreed, "This is terrific, a great addition to the neighborhood. I watched the whole transition to gallery space as I went to work everyday. Rick has done a really great job."
If you're an artist looking for a place to show, GAS currently has a waiting list, but Hauser is always happy to hear from new people. The GAS website is currently under construction, but you can find and join their hopping facebook group. You can reach Rick Hauser at the Framing Mill, 973-761-4142.