1. Where are you located and what do you do?
I am Charlotte Mouquin, the Director of Rush Arts Gallery in Chelsea, NY and Corridor Gallery in Brooklyn, which is part of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation a 501 © 3 organization founded in 1995 by brothers Russell, Danny and Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons. Rush Arts Gallery and Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation are dedicated to providing exhibition opportunities to emerging and mid career artists and cultivating an emerging artistic community and exposes disadvantaged urban youth to contemporary arts and culture through educational programming initiatives.
2. How did you first hear about the Fountain Art Fair?
I first visited Fountain Art Fair several years ago in the make shift art venues of a rusty barge, the Frying Pan in NY.
3. How long have you been participating in the fair and which cities have you exhibited in?
This is the first year Rush Arts Gallery will be participating in Fountain, anywhere. Last year we exhibited in Miami in an alternative warehouse venue in the Wynwood Arts District. The late night activities, hula hoopers, flashing lights, and live painting made all of Wynwood feel like a mixture of Bonnaroo and Burning Man. We wanted to come back and Fountain Miami felt like the best fit.
4. What is it about the Fountain that makes it different from the other art fairs?
The Punk Rock Street Art vibe of Fountain is unique, exhilarating and Fun. I think one of the most integral parts of Fountain Art Fair is the sense of Community. Artists, Art Professionals, and Performers come together to present cutting edge Art that reflects and critiques our contemporary culture at large, and everyone is invited. Having everyone work together and create a community in the art world contradicts the cold chicness and stuffy stereotypes some other fairs have. That was one of the principles Rush Arts was founded on. Russell, Danny, and Rev Run came together to create a space where under-represented artists, particularly artists from racial minorities, could show their artwork without judgement and create a new art community. I think Fountain Art Fair is doing the same thing, creating community through a grassroots founded alternative art fair. They are giving tours of the local Street Art, killer performers, working hard and playing hard, who could say no to that?
5. What will you be exhibiting at Fountain this year?
RUSH Arts Gallery is proud to be bringing the work of nine diverse artists to Fountain Miami 2012 including: Cey Adams, Trevor Brown, Jorge Cavelier, Jenne Glover, Johnny Mattei, Michael Mut, Arlene Rush, mahlOt Sansosa, and Alexandria Smith. These artists range in style in technique from collage arts, assemblage, photography, painting, and sculpture. It’s a great mix of styles and techniques. We will also have The Love Yourself Project in our booth. All very exciting.
6. What’s on view at your gallery right now?
November 29th through January 25th “I Dreamed My People Were Calling, but Couldn’t Find My Way Home” curated by one of our Co-founders, Danny Simmons. Found object conceptual constructions by SOL’ SAX, large scale drawings by Imo Nse Imeh, and African Divas by Margaret Rose Vendryes come together to make an excellent exhibition.
7. How did you get started in the gallery business?
Through my beliefs in Love, Life, and Art. Somewhere the stars aligned that brought me to what I am doing now.
8. Other than your own gallery, what’s another gallery that you always look forward to seeing at Fountain Miami and Fountain New York?
I am always excited to see what Mighty Tanaka and Front Room Gallery have, they are pillars of the Brooklyn Art Scene and I have a lot of love and respect for them.
9. How did Hurricane Sandy affect your business? Was there any damage to your Gallery? If so, how are you recovering?
We were closed for a week in Chelsea, but thankfully we are on the third floor so we were okay. It was a bit cold in the 526 W 26th St building, and the basement was destroyed. The elevator will be out for roughly 6 months as they install a new one, so use the elevator at 508 W 26th St to get to the third floor. The buildings are connected on the inside. Of course our hearts go out to everyone that was affected, and the great artworks that were damaged and destroyed.
10. Have you always wanted to be a gallerist? What did you want to be when you were younger?
I always wanted to be an artist or a rock star. Now I am rocking it in the art world, I still get to make art, and occasionally I do perform. Orchestrating the art events with Rush Arts Gallery, Corridor Gallery, and The Love Yourself Project is a fulfilling, rewarding, art filled experience, so I have no complaints.
11. How do you feel about the future of American art and do you think New York will remain the capital of the international art market?
I love Art and I love New York. I have a feeling a lot of people feel the same way and as long as that stays strong I think NY will remain the capital of the International Art Market. Kings County and Queens County are the most diverse counties in the world, it’s a global art world and the key to being in the middle is to be in a place where creativity, diversity and challenging artworks are celebrated.