Allegra LaViola Hosts Rat Dinner

Artist Laura Ginn brings a taste for rat to the Allegra LaViola gallery on Wednesday night.

Some foodies swear they’ll try any dish once, but if any meat can unnerve the Lower East Side’s most adventurous eaters, it has to be the one our friend Allegra LaViola is serving tomorrow night: rat. Yes, the Allegra LaViola Gallery (179 East Broadway) is hosting a night of rodent cuisine on Wednesay from 7-9 p.m. Artist Laura Ginn conceived of the daring dinner and will oversee the proceedings, while Chef Yuri Hart has concocted a number of special recipes for the occasion. Rest assured diners won’t be chowing down on just any subway denizen—Allegra says the rats are farm-raised in excellent, humane conditions.

The event actually draws upon some heavy themes, imagining a post-apocalyptic metropolis, where even the lowliest creatures become fair game for city-dwellers. In fact, the dinner is titled “Tomorrow We Will Feast Again on What We Catch.” Thankfully, at least for this soiree, there’s no rat-catching required.

Space is limited, and tickets are selling for $100 dollars here. Hey, it’s probably the cheapest rat dinner you’ll ever eat.

Gallery Goer: What to See This Week

Lily, Ellen Jong.

You can always count on Allegra LaViola Gallery for unusual work that gets people chattering. So expect no less from the gallery’s latest show The Invisible Line, a solo exhibition of new work by Ellen Jong curated by Mr. and Mrs. Amani Olu. Also, consider the fact that many of the photographs included in the show appeared in Jong’s book “Getting To Know My Husband’s Cock”.

With that piece of information squared away, we should also note that Ellen isn’t related to the writer Erica Jong (“Fear of Flying”) or Erica’s daughter, the writer Molly Jong-Fast.

Third Thursdays – Featured Gallery: Allegra LaViola

Allegra LaViola at her gallery - photo by A. Jesse Jiryu Davis for

Tomorrow night, the neighborhood will stay open late for Third Thursdays, a new monthly event from the LES Business Improvement District showcasing the Lower East Side’s flourishing arts scene.  Galleries will be staying open until 9pm and the New Museum is offering free evening admission. As media sponsor of Third Thursdays, we’re pleased to offer a series of participating gallery profiles. Last week, we visited the Allegra LaViola Gallery.

Since moving in to the space at 179 East Broadway, some of the shows the Allegra LaViola Gallery has offered up include a non-stop, three-day live action Dungeons & Dragons tournament with art and performances, monthly “performative dinner parties,” where guests are treated to dinner and art and performance by the artist/s in residence for the evening, and most recently, a collaborative performance and interactive show involving meat, potatoes and knishes.  Oh, and then there’s that provocative exhibit which caused quite a stir in the neighborhood a few weeks ago.

I spoke with LaViola and asked her about the recent controversy.

Be Meat & Drink, An Interactive “Knish Konnection” at Allegra LaViola

Artists Joy Tomasko and Phoebe Joel with their exhibition, "Be Meat & Drink," at Allegra LaViola Gallery - photo by A. Jesse Jiryu Davis

There’s an intriguing and highly interactive exhibit based on the idea of meat and potatoes, knishes and blind dates, happening at the Allegra LaViola Gallery right now.  The show, “Be Meat & Drink (a test kitchen for KNISH KONNECTION),” is being put on by collaborating artists Phoebe Joel and Joy Tomasko.

Controversial LES Gallery Show is Mainstream Media Magnet

Last week (via ArtInfo), we took a look at “Pornucopia,” the provocative exhibition at the Allegra LaViola Gallery, 179 East Broadway.  This week, the mainstream media can’t seem to get enough of the story:


Provocative Paintings Rile Neighbors on East Broadway

Photo credit: Allegra LaViola Gallery.

A new show at the Allegra LaViola Gallery, 179 East Broadway, is not going over very well with some residents on the Lower East Side. The exhibition, “Pornucopia,” went up February 4th. ArtInfo reports this morning: “rumblings of dissatisfaction began with a visit from an irate rabbi during the… opening and have continued for the duration of the show, culminating with three visits from the police in the last two weeks.”