Bridgehampton's White Room Gallery Blossoms in Florida
Voted Dan’s Best of the Best Hamptons Art Gallery on numerous occasions, The White Room Gallery (WRG) in Bridgehampton is an East End institution. And like many businesses do when they find great success in one market, WRG has begun exploring similar markets to expand into — so Southern Florida, naturally. Co-owners and co-directors Andrea McCafferty and Kat O’Neill discuss testing the waters of the Florida art scene.
When did WRG begin to dip its toes in the Florida art market?
The first fair we did in Florida was 2019. Our initial business model did not have us literally taking it on the road, but a major component of the art scene is being seen, and the traffic at the Florida fairs was just too great to ignore, especially following our recent success at Market Art + Design in Bridgehampton. …
We did Scope last year and in 2019. COVID obviously prevented all the fairs from happening in 2020. We looked into other Florida fairs but what we continually like about Scope is the energy and curatorial appreciation. The beach location is an asset, as well, because it puts everybody in a good mood. And good moods often facilitate sales. We plan to do Scope again in ’22 but the Palm Beach Art Fair is definitely on our radar.
What services does WRG provide Florida and international buyers?
In 2019, there was more of an international presence, but the lingering pall and restrictions of COVID kept many of those collectors away this past year. Several of our buyers at Scope ’21 were Florida residents, so we actually had a number of pieces delivered by our art mover. He also installed the works and was the same person who drove the work to Florida. … For our international and out-of-state buyers, we have several shipping brokers we work with. And yes, our Florida list of collectors has grown significantly.
How is the Florida art market similar to the Hamptons market?
We find the markets quite similar. Nelson De La Nuez incorporates humor and a myriad of styles into his pop art and that is universally well-received. The same reception holds true for Russell Young’s diamond dust icons. Giancarlo Impiglia and Punk Me Tender’s vibrant use of color does very well in Florida. We weren’t sure how Bob Tabor’s black and white horses were going to go over as they are more of a Hampton Classic kind of vibe, but they did great. Our abstract, mixed media, photography and sculpture are always well-received regardless of the region. Water and beach themes resonate in both markets, as well. The parallels make sense really as many of our Hamptons collectors also have homes in Florida and vice versa. …
We keep toying with idea of opening a gallery in Florida. No finger on the trigger yet, but time will tell.
To learn more about The White Room Gallery, visit thewhiteroom.gallery.