“I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.” – The famous oft quoted line by Groucho Marx comes to mind when we hear of any exclusive and chic members only venues in secret pockets of the city. But when you get an invite to a private after party at the Norwood, well get those party shoes and clothes on ‘coz we are so going!
Arte Fuse was fortunate to be invited by Casey Burry, Director of Underline Gallery on 14th Street, to the after party of their summer show “The Good American”. It was a group show that examines the conundrum of national identity in the digital age by exploring themes of American spirit, stereotype, and counterculture. If this show was a frank and unfiltered view of American life in the 21st century then we were ready for a slice of the secret scene. Norwood is a private club with members mostly from the creative arts field and it aims to provide events or activities that are intended to support the arts in the New York area. Situated in a five story landmark townhouse with its very modern take on a cosmopolitan cave of a very well rounded gentleman who happens to have a penchant for art collecting. Each floor had a very eclectic mix of mid-century furnishings, variety of artwork on the walls, and the architectural details of the house being enhanced by its neo-modern elegant interior design. The club has a fifty seat restaurant, three lounge bars, a forty-five seat screening room, event space, a private dining room for twenty-four, and a walled garden patio for Al Fresco dining at the back.
On July 11th, we had to check in at the front reception as we entered (you have to RSVP to be on the list) and got directed up to the third floor via an elevator ride. Stepping out into the 3rd Floor Saloon, it was very bohemian indeed with the dark wood detailing and seeing the art crowd lounging about. Artists, gallery staff, guests from the opening reception, art industry denizens, and the ever inquisitive press aka us from AF, were all hanging out, having drinks from the bar, talking shop about art in general, and treated to a live music performance by Sky White Tiger. This was a place for the creative set to congregate and possibly be enriched with more involvement in the arts. Exclusivity is a premium but what members get out of it is far more attractive. You pay dues to get something worthwhile and art is always a great bet that pays you back immensely. So for one night – it felt alluring, dynamic, electric, glamorous, and a chic meeting of the artful minds. Here’s hoping for another night at Norwood where the art loving never ends.
Underline Gallery: The Good American – On View: July 4 – August 12, 2012
238 West 14th Street NYC, NY 10011 / Tuesday – Sunday (11 am – 7 pm)
Norwood Arts Club – 241 West 14th Street. NYC, NY 10011
article by: Oscar A. Laluyan
Photos by: Max Noy