A pie shop might seem like an unlikely place for an art gallery. But at Four and Twenty Blackbirds in Orient, a makeshift display of artists’ works from near and far appears to flow seamlessly in the quaint setting.
The space at the rear of the building was conceived by its proprietors, husband-and-wife team Aubrey Mayer and Toby Bannister. Four and Twenty Blackbirds is an Orient outpost of a Brooklyn bakery of the same name that is owned by Bannister’s friend Emily Elsen.
They have dubbed the dedicated space “Mr. Gallery.”
“This whole idea was catalyzed by the fact that my own work consists of taking photographic portraits of other artists,” said Mayer, an artist and North Fork native. “It seems like in recent years the New York art world has gravitated toward the North Fork, and since we had a space available, we wanted to create a gallery in a productive way.”
Mr. Gallery’s first exhibition of the summer featured Mayer’s works, which encompassed portraiture pieces, photographs, and paintings made using distorted contact sheets.
Currently on display are the creations of Damon Zucconi, an artist who has roots in Orient but is now based in Providence, R.I. Some of Zucconi’s featured works include vector replications of a message poet Emily Dickinson wrote on the back of an envelope, and a piece involving two iPhones hooked up to software called “slow verb,” which generates text according to the settings it is given.
“You can definitely see how the digital realm has inspired his work,” said Mayer.
Toby Bannister said she hopes Mr. Gallery will evolve into a social space that encourages artists and locals alike to come together.
“It’s been really interesting to hear feedback from people coming through, because our most recent show is a little more conceptual,” said Bannister. “But it’s actually been quite fun because it allows us to talk to everyone who comes in and give them an idea of what we’re doing.”
The opening ceremony for Damon Zucconi’s exhibit will take place this Saturday, July 18, from 5 to 7 p.m. The third show of the summer, which will feature Vancouver-based artist Mark Delong, will run from Aug. 1 to 24.