Andrew Rose Gallery

Bringing Art to Bishop Street: Fine art may be Hawaii's newest export.


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Can an art gallery make it in the financial district? Andrew Rose is banking on it.

photo: olivier koning

Given the economy, it may seem like an inopportune time to open an art gallery, but as record prices at New York auctions prove, the demand for art is ever strong, providing you can tap into it. Enter Andrew Rose, artist and Linekona art teacher with 20 years of experience in the art realm. At one time, he hosted exhibitions in his Tantalus home, but it grew into something “too commercial in too private a space,” he says. His current venture is a jewel box of a gallery on Bishop Street, not overly ambitious in size, but ambitious in reach: Rose hopes his gallery will prove “Hawaii is a place where we have a real gallery scene that is export- and internationally focused.”

“The art world is limited here,” he says. In the past, artists might show their work at a few exhibitions around town, but “nobody was taking it off-island.” That’s how Rose hopes to differentiate his gallery, drawing on his experience and network to cultivate international purchasers. In particular, his gallery offers artists the opportunity for representation, a concept unique to Hawaii galleries. In such a contractual agreement, Rose acts as an agent for his represented artists, promoting their work to collectors, museums and reviewers. He currently represents such artists as Noreen Naughton, the debut artist at his gallery, and Linda Kane, whose exhibition opens this month. He’ll also show artists he doesn’t represent.

He’s seen many artists give up and stop showing their work, but he hopes the existence of his gallery will inspire younger artists and other artists to continue, whatever the economy. “People are passionate about art in all economic situations,” he says. “People believe in surrounding themselves in quality and beauty always. It makes us human.” Andrew Rose Gallery, 1003 Bishop St., Suite 120, 599-4400, andrewrosegallery.com.

 

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