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Gallery Dedicated for Senior Artists in New York | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Marlena Vaccaro at the Carter Burden Gallery, an exhibition space dedicated to artists at least 60 years old that she runs in Chelsea. Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Times

New York, London- The Carter Burden Gallery in New York has a special rule: it exhibits only artworks for artists above 60 years old. The eldest painter who is currently working in the gallery is 93 years old.

Marlena Vaccaro, manager of the Carter Burden Gallery says: “We live in a city with a youthful spirit.”

“Artwork traders and gallery owners look for young people who are in their peak performance. But what about the older painters who spent their whole lives making art pieces?” She added.

The Carter Burden Gallery represents about 170 professional artists, including Carol Massa, 71, who paint and makes abstract sculptures. Massa describes the additional challenges of being a woman in a competitive area, saying “When I was 27, the famous artistic manager, Ivan Karp, told me: I love your works but we cannot sell them because you are a woman. At that time, paintings drawn by women were not appealing.” Massa then decided to sign her artworks using only her second name.

But, Massa also sees advantages in being an old painter. “As you age, you reach wisdom and self-confidence, which really liberate the person,” she says.

Vakaro agrees with Massa, saying: “With age, human acquires life experience, wisdom and self-confidence, and all this will be reflected in their work.”