By Susan Skoorka
Dedicated to giving older artists the opportunity to exhibit their work and engage in professional discourse, the Carter Burden Gallery (CBG) is perhaps the only gallery in the U.S. that explicitly promotes the art of those over 60 years of age. The CBG grew out of the recognition of the unique cultural wealth embodied in the older generation of NYC visual artists. These artists made our City a leader in the art world during the abstract expressionism movement. The CBG strives to change the way the public and the arts community see art, by presenting creative, exciting, and vibrant works by active artists over age 60. Our members come from diverse backgrounds in the arts, and from numerous and varied professions.
The CBG has turned the male to female ratio of artists found in the vast majority of NYC galleries on its head! Over 77% of Chelsea galleries represent more males than females (76% to 96% male artists), and around 5% represent males and females in equal numbers. The CBG exhibits almost twice as many women (65.5%) as men (34.5%).
The CBG is a program of the Carter Burden Center for the Aging (CBCA). The CBCA is a nonprofit agency established in 1971 to promote the wellbeing of seniors 60 and older through services, advocacy, and volunteer programs geared toward individual, family, and community needs. The CBCA is dedicated to supporting the efforts of older people to live safely and with dignity. The CBG is proudly supported by the CBCA Board of Directors and the Macquarie Group Foundation.
The CBG was envisioned as an extension of the CBCA’s goals. The CBG, formerly Gallery 307, began when Elder Craftsmen, a community-based arts education program, merged with the CBCA in 2009. Upon seeing the Elder Craftsmen’s office space, Marlena Vaccaro, the CBCA Associate Executive Director and the CBG Curator and Director, recognized that the space could be used as an art gallery. In March 2013, Gallery 307 became Carter Burden Gallery upon moving to its current location in Chelsea.
The Carter Burden Gallery is located at 548 West 28th Street, Suite 534, New York, NY 10001. The gallery contains 2,177 square feet with a wall containing two large arched windows. Designed to utilize all available space, the gallery has three distinct exhibition spaces: the larger East Gallery, the West Gallery, and a long corridor for experimental public art referred to as “On the Wall.” This layout allows for at least three different artists to show during an exhibition cycle, affording the CBG a unique opportunity to contrast artists’ work, enhance viewer experience, and stimulate conversation about the juxtaposed works.
The CBG gives older artists the opportunity to show their work and engage in current contemporary artistic dialogue. The CBG is committed to empowering re-emerging, professional older artists through the exhibition and cultivation of their work. The Carter Burden Gallery is much more than just a gallery to exhibit artwork, it is a network and community of artists who have dedicated their lives to making art in a city that values art and its artists.