The 1,200-square-foot gallery is located at 4 14th St., and is owned by Hoboken resident Katherine Knapp. Knapp is a retired real estate agent and investor who worked for Weichert Realty in Hoboken. The gallery is named after Knapp's daughter, Attienette, a photographer and co-partner in the venture.
With the opening, Katherine Knapp finally got to see her dream of owning a gallery materialize. "It's a fantastic feeling," she said.
Although Knapp made a living in real estate, her passion has always been art. She graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art and has been an avid collector of art over the years.
Knapp said her extensive collection was one of the reasons she opened the gallery.
"I was a collector for so many years and had so much art [work], I couldn't hang it all up in my tiny apartment," explained Knapp.
The gallery itself is a product of a real estate transaction. After making what Knapp described as a "nice profit," she decided that rather than invest the money in a stock or bond, she would put it into a gallery.
Joining Knapp at last week's opening was Mayor David Roberts, who said he enjoyed what he saw. Roberts was on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony that had occurred earlier in the afternoon.
"I am sure it is going to be a success," said Roberts. "It compliments our city's efforts to promote the arts." In addition to providing fine art to Hoboken residents who do not want to travel into Manhattan, the gallery offers art for sale. The current exhibit's pieces range in price from $2,100 to $16,000. Knapp said she hopes to involve the community, particularly local artists, in future shows.
She is also currently considering two projects that would benefit local entities. The first is an exhibit featuring paintings by students at the Hudson School, and the second is an exhibit showcasing paintings by individuals from the Hoboken Homeless Shelter.
Although the initial reception occurred last Tuesday afternoon, Knapp has scheduled a second reception on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The reception was slated to be open to the public. It was set to include champagne, wine, hors d'ouevres, and limited valet parking.
The exhibit and its inspiration
Leandro M. Velasco Pardo is a self-taught artist who has been drawing since his childhood. Born in Columbia in 1933, he moved to New York City on Nov. 22, 1963, the very day on which President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
"I'm very proud to have my work shown here in Hoboken," Velasco said during the show's opening on Tuesday. "There's a lot of life here."
He added, "I hope people [who attend the exhibit] enjoy my work, that's most important to me."
Velasco's work has been exhibited in over 40 galleries across the globe, from New York to Paris to Tokyo.
In addition to being a renowned painter, Velasco is also known for his stained glass work and has most recently been selected to design the mosaic for the Basilica of the National Shrine of Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
Velasco's current show at the Galerie Attienette consists of mostly large, abstract acrylic paintings that incorporate symbols from the indigenous populations of South America.
According to Velasco, the inspiration for the pieces stemmed from common designs found in hand-made quilts and aprons sold to tourists in Columbia and other parts of South American. The designs have their origins in the Inca and Maya societies that preceded the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors.
Velasco's show runs through Dec. 6, according to Knapp. She said the gallery would display a new exhibit every six to eight weeks throughout the coming year.
The gallery will be open from Wednesday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment.
For more information about the current exhibit, log onto www.galerieattienette.com, or call (201) 253-0720.
Michael Mullins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.