Ivy Brown has lived her life as a pioneer in the very city where she was born. In 1985, when others dared not set foot in the Meatpacking District, she bought a fourth floor flat in the Triangle Building and transformed it into a haven of tranquility and artistic expression.
Twenty-seven years ago, the neighborhood wasn’t filled with high-fashion flagships, tech firms, gourmet markets, and chic nightclubs. It was still unlit, unsavory, and undesirable, the streets filled with meat packing byproducts, and home to misunderstood transvestite prostitutes. Hardly a place for a soft-spoken young woman to establish an artistic residency and gallery space, but Ivy gritted her teeth and took the challenge with determination.
A recent Huffington Post article features a look back at the Meatpacking district through an artistic eye which features Ivy Brown and her family. Also, read Pieces from an Artists Dream with Ivy Brown on examiner.com.
Ivy was born here, living in Queens and Long Island for most of her childhood, but spending the majority of her youth in an international community in London- perhaps that is how she has evaded any of the characteristic skepticism that New Yorkers are famous for. Her mother and father, from France and Flatbush respectively, helped her refine her curatorial eye, applicable both on the street and in the gallery. Her education, on both sides of the Atlantic and ranging from fine art sculpture to art therapy, set her up for her first career, in commercial photography.
After twenty-two frenetic years working in marketing and commercial work, Ivy opened her gallery with the goal of creating a space for herself and her community to be able to express themselves without a marketing executive over their shoulders- founded in a spirit of creative relationship building and thoughtful expression, Ivy Brown Gallery has retained this ethos for the past twelve years.
Founded in 2001, the Ivy Brown Gallery represents and exhibits contemporary art of all mediums. Ivy has dedicated herself to supporting both emerging and established artists of every ilk, from the an international pool. Ivy Brown takes her experience from the commercial arts world and brings it to the fine arts arena. Her commitment to art and the critical part it plays in our humanity is the grounding force behind the gallery- in fact, the first show at the gallery was a response to 9/11. That first show was focused entirely on clowns, and every radical faerie in New York City came to participate in the celebrations. It was the beginning of an enduring friendship that she still has with the group, and they continue to support each other. This lasting friendship is what everyone can expect when coming into Ivy’s gallery, or Ivy’s life in general; the two are inextricable.
Ivy Brown Gallery is a microcosm unto itself: a truly unique space that is completely malleable and metamorphosizes with each show, while having Ivy’s personality, care, and aesthetic built into its every fiber. Ivy puts it best by saying, “this is not your normal gallery, it has its own personality which we do not try to hide.” There is no way that anyone could hide the personality of the space or its proprietor, and it infuses every show with a vitality not seen in any other venue. Each day, Ivy is fufilling her mission both within and without the walls of her sanctuary.