There’s a new player on the Lower East Side arts scene this week: Joe Sheftel Gallery has opened its doors at 24A Orchard St.
Proprietor Sheftel, 32, hails from Williamsburg by way of a Boston upbringing and a brief stint as a lawyer, but has deep roots in the LES. His maternal grandfather grew up here in the late 19th century, in various homes within a few blocks of Sheftel’s new digs, a former lingerie storage building between Canal and Hester streets. Prior to signing his lease, Sheftel worked with Miguel Abreu just up the street. His experience there, after jobs in galleries in Chelsea and SoHo and a career in private dealing, convinced him the LES was the right neighborhood for his new venture.
“I really enjoy working with people who walk in and want to talk about art, not just about the buying and selling,” Sheftel told us this afternoon. “I work with a lot of emerging artists, younger artists.”
Sheftel renovated his 1,000-square-foot, high-ceilinged space but left the rear section of it raw, exposing “beautifully distressed plaster walls” that had been covered in tape, he said.
The gallery hosted an opening reception Sunday night for its inaugural exhibition, a show of three artists, Alex Da Corte, Adam Henry and Rory Mulligan called “Specifically Yours” featuring works “that all have some connection to minimalism,” Sheftel said.
In general, he plans to focus on painting, sculpture and photography, among other media. The current show runs through Feb. 19 and will be succeeded by a solo show of Da Corte’s work, he said.
The website is still under construction; the gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.