Chashama Goes Bigger and Bolder for Its Annual Gala and Art Party

ChaShaMa Gala 2018
ChaShaMa Gala 2018

The ChaShaMa Gala and Art Party are billed as the “most outrageous” of the season, but do they live up to the hype? Bigger than ever but more curated, the answer is a resounding “yes”. 

The ChaShaMa Gala has gotten a reputation. As being one of the most alternative types of fundraisers in town, The ChaShaMa gala has fully incorporated itself with its mission to provide artist space. As NYC and the region has grown more expensive, it’s become difficult for artists to establish studios and creative environments in the city. ChaShaMa works to maintain studio space for artists in the city, located in prime communities and nearby workplaces and centers of art galleries. The result has been a collective that is centered on inspiring and creating, without the worry of the next rent payment. 

This years ChaShaMa Gala was hosted on the 22nd floor of a Times Square building with a full floor dedicated to art, but the art started outside, on the ground and in the lobby, with Flambeaux Fire showing a human candle installation the rose many feet into the air. On the sidewalk outside, dancers morphed and bended in a connect web of red fabric for a unique exploration of the human condition. Upstairs, a movable feast: dinner was served in a red room while artists transformed individual rooms into new worlds all their own. Guests could bid on any number of auction items including travel to Spain, a visit to Chashama’s artist residency upstate, ChaNorth.

Showing artists included Rachel Marks with her paper sculptures, forming a small forest of tree stumps and dangling flowers, as well as an overflow of books and sheets of paper. Her assembly took several days to create, with nearly everything being made of recycled books and paper.

The idyllic spaces that were originally used as office space didn’t stop there: the starry-ceilinged space of Basia Goszczynska featured a trail of refuse from local beaches, explored only by flashlights. Another was a room which was covered in white spray paint, painted mannequins in gas masks, clouds- the stuff of pastel dreams. 

Rooms of art included the 3D work of Make It Fab Fab, An artist’s dripping oil paintings, Sarah Nagle’s raw performance art, as well as a block of “ice” which was actually broken glass forming a translucent mountain illuminated from within. 

The House of Domination was a space steeped in experimentation and humiliation, in which guests dressed in suits and ties were forced on the ground by a dominatrix or whipped by a man in leather. It wasn’t expected, but it wasn’t opposed, either. 

Poetic Justice offered dancing and DJing, while there was a Caribbean and African-inspired set in the elevator lobby. Additional exhibitions included the work from See|Me, as well as open bars from Bombay Sapphire and Zirkova Vodka, serving their respective specialties.

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