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The new Artemest Galleria in New York.
Photo: Courtesy of Artemest

Artemest Opens First Brick-and-Mortar Location in New York City

Located in Manhattan’s gallery-rich Chelsea neighborhood, Artemest Galleria debuts with an encore of Bradley Theodore’s ‘Blow’ exhibition

Artemest founder Ippolita Rostagno with Bradley Theodore's Pineapple Dreams mirror, installed at Artemest's new Manhattan showroom. Photo: Courtesy of Artemest

After a buzzworthy presentation with Artemest during this summer’s Salone del Mobile in Milan, Bradley Theodore’s exhibition of Murano glass artworks, “Blow,” has found a new—and equally exciting—home in Manhattan. The artist’s colorful skulls, pineapples, and other iconography representative of his native Turks and Caicos, crafted in collaboration with the artisans of Murano, are now on display at the e-commerce platform’s first brick-and-mortar gallery in New York.

Located beneath the city’s art-filled High Line, the newly opened Artemest Galleria houses an area for a rotating exhibition of art, plus furniture and artisan-made objets. “Artemest is not a site that’s just selling stuff. This is a site that is really committed to maintaining and supporting artisans,” says founder Ippolita Rostagno. “Because it’s complicated to to communicate all that in a brief moment, we felt like we had to have a physical space.”

Furniture on display inside the new Artemest Galleria on West 19th Street. Photo: Courtesy of Artemest

Taking over a former art gallery at 518 West 19th Street, Artemest converted the location to house both exhibitions, like “Blow,” as well as larger pieces of furniture, lighting, glassware, and other decorative objects from the site’s 1,400 Italian craftspeople in a residential-like setting. “This is an opportunity for us to have a physical space where we can welcome our community, whether it be people up the street, designers, interior decorators, or architects, and walk them through the wonderful breadth of opportunity,” says Rostagno. “The idea here is to have a constant rotation because we represent so many different styles, and showcase exceptional pieces—things that by themselves are cool, because those are always the things that get people excited. I liked the idea of creating a living room-like feel; you come here and you say, Oh, this is comfortable. I could live here.”

A close up view of the sample room inside the new Artemest Galleria. Photo: Courtesy of Artemest

Additionally, the showroom dedicates an alcove to tile, wallpaper, rug, and material samples, offering designers a hands-on space to experiment with Artemest’s customization capabilities. “This is a mission-driven company and the mission is to really share how amazingly talented Italian artisans are,” Rostagno tells Galerie. “It’s slightly misleading sometimes when you’re looking at the website, and you’re thinking that this stuff is just sitting in a warehouse. But since everything is handmade, it can be made any way you want. Any change that you would like to make to the object is possible.”

Cosmic Flaming Frida mirror by Bradley Theodore, on view at the new Artemest Galleria. Photo: Courtesy of Artemest

Equally representative of Artemest’s offerings of handmade works is the unique art pieces, like the mirror works by Theodore that are presented throughout the gallery’s front area. “We continue to need vehicles for showing that craft is not just this Old-World thing that you struggle to relate to,” says Rostagno. “What are contemporary interpretations of craft that’s relevance doesn’t need to be explained. And art is kind of the optimum vehicle for exploring these things because you’re not trying to make a useful object. You’re trying to just use techniques and craft and materials to the best of their expressiveness.”

“Blow” on view inside the new Artemest Galleria in New York. Photo: Courtesy of Artemest

By constructing an actual location, Rostagno hopes to better convey Artemest’s role as a connector between craftspeople and consumers. And by being surrounded by New York’s art galleries, she suggests it will further the company’s narrative as a destination for functional works of art. “I don’t know how many times you’ve looked at real estate, but it’s a very interesting exercise. It’s like soul searching—do I want these neighbors; do I want to live here—and the furniture areas just felt not right for us,” Rostagno explains. “In an art context, there’s less clutter; people are even mentally less frazzled in that environment and more open to hearing our story. And the story of craft and art is at the heart of what we do.”

Photo: Courtesy of Artemest

Ideally, the aim is for visitors to not just access the space for gallery shows and product commissions, but to further engage with Italy’s history as a hub for creativity by attending future book parties, artisan expositions, and when the warm weather returns, community gatherings at Artemest Galleria’s tree-lined terrace. “The mission is to make sure that these crafts continue to survive and evolve,” explains Rostagno. “To be a fan of the mission means participating in all the wonderful activities, which is acquiring the products, meeting the artisans, learning about the history of the culture and the craft.”

Cover: The new Artemest Galleria in New York.
Photo: Courtesy of Artemest

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