Ladies and gentlemen, if you’re not yet familiar with QF Gallery, it’s time to get acquainted. In a glass of bubbling excitement shook up by renowned curator Arielle Bier and the exceptional team of visual arts experts waiting at the sidelines, the opening party of their brand new location was an absolute triumph. Nestled in none other than New York legend Henrietta Hudson’s – Manhattan’s longest continually operating LGBTQ+ bar – the convergence between these two powerhouses was a match made in heaven.
QF Gallery: Where Art Meets Connection
Uniting people through stimulating conversations about contemporary art has always been QF Gallery’s raison d’être. Since its inception, the gallery has become notorious for promoting provocative art practices that break down barriers and defy categorization. Allowing patrons to swim in a sea of questions about society, identity, sexuality, and humanity – all viewed through the lens of genuine connection – has turned QF Gallery into a nexus for contemporary trailblazers.
Henrietta Hudson: Making New York History
Throughout its 30-year history, Henrietta Hudson has prevailed as one of Manhattan’s most cherished dive bars – and for good reason. This safe haven for lesbian women and the wider LGBTQ+ community has been transforming hearts from long before it became “trendy” to embrace one another for who we are. Manned by hard-hitting supporters of sociosexual harmony Lisa Cannistraci (owner) and Minnie Rivera (director), this hangout gem sits like a jewel on 438-440 Hudson Street, ready to pour love into every single soul it encounters.
The Night Everything Came Together – The Opening Party
As the sky began to orange itself from velvet blue to twilight tipple, there wasn’t a cloud in sight on this truly breathtaking October evening. One-by-one, they came – some straight from work clad in snazzy suits and sparking earrings reflecting the light from silver cufflinks; others already stepping into their night-time personas with fashion that screamed individuality.
At first glance, an eclectic mix of patrons adorned in everything from laid-back bohemian chic to avant-garde couture could almost make one momentarily forget why all were gathered under one roof. But when conversation began to swirl around laughter-filled hellos up through chandelier dimples that cast golden searchlights upon the featured works decked along pearly walls, attendees quickly remembered – they were here for art.
Curated by Arielle Bier and featuring genderqueer underground artist Devin N. Morris’ sensational centennial exhibition ‘For Pride’ as well as inspiring works from rising stars Maddie Ziegler Perez and Guadalupe Zarate Macchia, the night simply pulsated with vibrant connectivity.
But QF Gallery’s opening party exceeded beyond just stellar artwork on show. Scenes on this magnificent eve included lip smacking h’orderves passed out by dazzling drag queens glittered better than a Rockefeller Christmas; dance beats vibrating through the floorboards thanks to guest DJs spinning infectious tunes for hours on end; live body painting performances led by face paint prodigy Ronnie Mena; and topped off with surprise celeb appearances that even had yours truly scrambling to keep their composure.
With vino glasses filled to the brim until early morning hours rolled around sooner than anyone would’ve liked, it wasn’t just that electricity filled the air at Henrietta Hudson’s; it was alive. A memorable opening event to celebrate not only QF Gallery’s first night but its powerful partnership with this legendary space that has shaped identities throughout New York’s history is a testament not only to how far our city has come but also how incredibly special places like Henrietta Hudson’s still very much are. Long-lasting friendships formed over art and celebration remind everyone involved just how important both galleries like QF Gallery and landmark spaces like Henrietta Hudson are. We raise our hats in celebration. Cheers!