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New Wave Art Wknd

Sarah Gavlak Launches the First New Wave Art Wknd

Katy Donoghue

3 December 2018

The first-ever New Wave Art Wknd took place in Palm Beach over the weekend, from November 30—December 2. The new contemporary art weekend, organized by gallerist Sarah Gavlak, served as a kick-off of sorts for Miami Art Week.

With a focus on immigrant and women artists the event included private collection tours with Beth Rudin DeWoody, Jane Holzer, and Lisa Perry; panels led by Isolde Brielmaier with artists like Sanford Biggers; and a public installation by Yvonne Force Villareal and Doreen Remen.

Sarah Gavlak

Portrait of Sarah Gavlak
Photo by Weston Wells

Whitewall spoke with Gavlak to hear more about the inaugural art event.

WHITEWALL: What kind of event did you want to create around the Palm Beach art community?

New Wave Art Wknd

Pbdewoody6630.jpg Image of Beth Rudin DeWoody Palm Beach home © Jessica Klewicki Glynn from Palm Beach Chic by Vendome Press. Instagram: @jessglynnphoto

SARAH GAVLAK: In 2005, I opened the first contemporary art gallery in Palm Beach after I realized there was a lack of gallery presence here. At the time many people said there wasn’t a need for contemporary art, but over the past 15 years we have witnessed a bourgeoning art scene here that is very forward-thinking.

I was inspired by Berlin Art Week and Artcrush, and founded New Wave Art Wknd to take advantage of the growing collector and artist community in Palm Beach, and inspire productive conversations. It was important to me that the experience be intimate and offer a respite from the chaos of the art fair circuit.

Yvonne Force Villareal, Bettina Prentice
Photo by BFA

WW: Who are some of the leaders of that community you’re introducing to a wider audience? Who are the major collectors, gallerists, etc?

SG: I couldn’t launch New Wave Art Wknd without the profound help of my advisory committee, which includes Beth Rudin DeWoody, Ann G. Tenenbaum, Amy Phelan, Mike De Paola, Cheryl Brutvan, Franklin Sirmans, Isolde Brielmaier, Jane Holzer, and Lisa Perry and collaborators Yvonne Force Villareal and Doreen Remen, Burt Minkoff, Keith Bloomfield, and Bettina Prentice.

New Wave Art Wknd

Image of Beth Rudin DeWoody Palm Beach home © Jessica Klewicki Glynn from Palm Beach Chic by Vendome Press. Instagram: @jessglynnphoto

WW: A main focus of the weekend is diversity and inclusivity. Why did you want that to be a focus?

SG: It has always been my focus to champion “the other” artists. I think it is essential to build a more inclusive culture and provide a serious platform for underrepresented artists including women, LGBTQ, immigrants, and artists of color.

New Wave Art Wknd

Isolde Brielmaier, Franklin Sirmans, and Sanford Biggers
Photo by BFA

WW: Can you tell us about residency program you’ve this weekend, as well?

SG: The spirit of New Wave is to shift the focus and financial resources to artists who are underserved and underrecognized. To that end, I am excited to launch an immigrant artist-in-residency program in Palm Beach that will debut at the second iteration of New Wave Art Wknd next year. The program will provide major resources and a platform to artists who come from places in the world where their civil rights are limited, or they have been a victim or refugee of war.

New Wave Art Wknd

Installation View of “Silver Bees and Black and White Warblers,” adapted 2018 by Amy Gross; Courtesy of Culture Lab and the artist.




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