Cambridge’s new art space opens its doors

by Shannon O'Connor / Beacon Correspondent • October 11, 2012

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Blanc gallery showcased a number of different styles.
Blanc gallery showcased a number of different styles.

A few blocks behind The Middle East Restaurant & Nightclub down Brookline Street in Cambridge, inside the confines of an old electrical supply storehouse, lies the Blanc Gallery, a contemporary and modern art gallery.

On Saturday, Oct. 6 the gallery held its grand opening that yielded nearly 300 enthusiasts, a turnout entirely unexpected for owner Patrick Dagle. Among those in attendance were three Emerson seniors who had a hand in the success of the night. 

“The opening went great. It was more than a success — it was better than what we even expected,” Dagle said. “We sold some art, which is sort of unusual for Boston.”

In his search for interns, Dagle stumbled upon Emerson College and recruited marketing communication seniors Annie Nguyen, Tiera Burrows, and Jonathan Graziano to the venue.

“I saw an ad online that they were an emerging gallery looking for volunteers and interns to get things rolling,” said Nguyen. “Because I have the same values as the people working within the gallery, I knew working at Blanc would be an enjoyable experience that I can gain a lot of knowledge from.”

Dagle prides himself on the relevance of the contemporary and modern art that Blanc exhibits. The opening showcased graffiti, whimsical minimalism, and abstraction.

The seemingly random lines on the Sophie Ainslie canvas crisscross to create an amalgamation of thick and thin black dashes. Although nonsensical at first sight, the lines merge to develop faces, skeletons, and patterns. The work turns into a Roscher test — and it’s up to the viewers to determine what they see.

In contrast, the Ben Jundanian piece portays a more jovial feel. With extensive detail, lines and waves, buildings and stairs, holes and stripes, the creation turns into a Where’s Waldo page for the art world. The piece is not one to glance at and walk away. Among the clouds, pillars, and flags look for the duck.

“We try to make our shows relevant for everyone,” Dagle said. “It’s really a soapbox for people getting their message out and getting their art out. We have really high quality art.” 

After only starting her internship at Blanc in late August, Nguyen said she has already helped grow the gallery’s presence on social media, write press releases, and hand out flyers.

“Blanc is a startup, and I feel even more motivated to work hard for the gallery to get the recognition I think it deserves,” she said. “It’s great to have the effort recognized and see the outcome of all the hard work and dedication put into Blanc from all interns and volunteers.”

Nguyen credits her marketing classes for properly preparing her for the internship.

“I’ve taken a large amount of marketing classes now, and not only have I learned important information from my professors and class material, but also from my peers and working in a lot of group projects and doing individual work,” she said. “I’m glad I’ve been able to apply course work and knowledge into my internship work.”

Upon graduating from Emerson College this upcoming spring, Nguyen said she plans on attending graduate school. Although she has had much experience working and interning for organizations, Nguyen said she is still searching for where her passions lie. 

As for the Blanc Gallery itself, they will be hosting their next exhibition show called “(Un)Dead”, hosted by Odwalla on Oct. 27 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. followed by a Halloween party.