BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER | Naima Rauam has been painting the South Street Seaport for decades. This summer, she has a 3,000-square foot gallery on the second floor of Pier 17, where she is exhibiting and selling her drawings and paintings.
The gallery, on the far eastern side of the pier, has stunning views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the East River — among the subjects that appear in Rauam’s artwork. She also depicts the old Fulton Fish Market, which she first visited as an art student in 1965. Captivated, she eventually moved to the Seaport.
In 2005, right before the fish vendors left for Hunts Point in the Bronx, Rauam had a show in the Tin Building that she called “The Last Hurrah.” After that, near the anniversary of the Fish Market’s departure, she mounted a show of her work every year at 210 Front St.
What was to have been her seventh annual show never took place because of Superstorm Sandy. Her Pier 17 gallery is beginning to make up for what didn’t happen as planned.
On Sunday, May 19, next to Rauam’s evocative drawings of the old hotel on Fulton St.’s Schermerhorn Row where sailors and salesmen once found cheap lodgings, Jack Putnam read from Joseph Mitchell’s book, “Up in the Old Hotel,” as he has every year since Rauam started her annual exhibits.
She said that despite cool, rainy weather, more than 50 people attended the reading. “It was standing room only!” she said.
Prices for Rauam’s work range from $350 for a print to $4,500 for a painting.
The gallery is open daily, noon to 7 p.m. through May 31 and then open Thursdays and Sundays, noon to 7 p.m. and by appointment.
Call 212-964-8465 for more information, go to www.artpm.com or email [email protected]
Rauam said that the far eastern end of Pier 17 is becoming an art hub. B&M Fine Art Studios will be opening on May 31 in space two doors down from her gallery and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council will occupy some space on the floor below later in the summer.