Renaissance since its inceptions has been involved with the community, and one of biggest impacts we ever had was just after 9/11 when we held an auction through Renaissance to help raise some money for the Lower Manhattan Art Gallery. They lost 2 artists in the north tower during that tragedy and ALL of their young artists lost their materials and art they had already completed.
We raised about $1900 or so to send to them to help the young artists buy new materials and get started again. Renaissance members and Tri State Arts Association members donated all the art. It was a great time and we all felt like we had done something meaningful to help during that tragedy.
Impact on community
The Renaissance Art Gallery is located in the heart of the city of Huntington, on the corner of 8th Street and 9th Avenue.
It is accessible to most people, being located on the ground floor of the former Huntington High School, fast becoming a regional center for the arts.
One afternoon, after an article in the local paper invited all to see the Miniature show, a large group of around 18 handicapped adults from a nearby adult day care center walked over to see the show.
Although it was a cold day, all were enthusiastic about seeing the show. The artist on duty was able to tell them about the miniature art form and to discuss individual paintings and works with them. They found answers for their individual questions were encouraged to learn that many of them could make such art themselves. Their enthusiasm for the show and interest in art was a joy to see. They all enjoyed personal attention and interaction. They viewed art displayed accessibly in an atmosphere that encouraged them to really explore the art and interact with the gallery personnel and within their group. The conversation was lively and irreverent at times, but clearly a pleasure for those who attended. Without this show, they would not have been able to view so much art in a venue where they felt at home.
I think experiences like this make all the work worth it.
Our gallery is located in a converted high school building. Part of it, the gym and such is now a YMCA. Much of the classroom area has been converted into senior and low-income housing. But the auditorium and music and some science rooms in the front of the building is now an arts centre for the town. People who would not ordinarily see fresh, new art see our shows.