This week on Creatures Features we visited our new neighbor, The Wing! One of the founders and CEO, Audrey Gelman gave us a tour of the spacious, women-only SoHo loft, while their curator and consultant, Lolita Cros walked us through the 65 pieces of work by 18 female artists which are displayed (and for sale!) throughout the space.
Creatures Features: What sparked the initial idea to open a women-only community space, and what aims did you have for the space at the outset?
Audrey Gelman: In our previous careers, we were constantly searching for a place to recharge and refresh in between meetings when there wasn’t time to go all the way home. This gave us the idea to create a space that would make women's lives more convenient. The concept for The Wing also stemmed from our shared belief that there is a magic that is created when women come together and our joint desire to create a women’s only space that offered the flexibility of co-working spaces and the community of social clubs.
CF: Lolita, how did your curatorial collaboration with The Wing begin?
Lolita Cros: I was a member at The Wing Flatiron and really liked what Audrey and Lauren were doing, what they stood for and the members they had. When I heard they were opening a new space in SoHo I directly emailed them asking if they wanted my help with the art, and they answered right away saying yes! From there I sent them a proposal with various female artists that I had worked with, or was dreaming of working with. Everyone I asked was really happy to be a part of the adventure.
CF: What were some unexpected results of opening The Wing?
AG: I think we were both surprised at the overwhelming response we received following Trump’s election.. We heard from many women who didn’t realize how much they needed a space like this until now.
CF: What programmatic developments are you looking forward to in the new year?
AG: We take a very editorial approach to designing programming and events that we think our members will enjoy the most, based on their interests and direct feedback. We're excited to extend that programming into the new spaces we have planned for 2018 based on new and existing member requests. We'll always try to offer a mix of professional, social, and hands-on events.
CF: In light of the recent indictments of men harassing women across all industries, what are your aspirations and/or fears in regards to women in the workplace? How do you see the Wing playing a role during this seismic shift?
AG: We hope that everything that has come to light over the last few months empowers women in the workplace more than anything. The Wing will continue to provide a safe space and community for women to discuss their own experiences and experience solidarity.
CF: How does the Wing address social issues? How can members get involved?
AG: Current events, politics and civic engagement are big themes and represent a huge part of the programming we host at The Wing. We also encourage members to organize within the space and use The Wing as a network to amplify issues they feel passionate about.
CF: The new Soho space features over 65 pieces of work by 18 female artists - besides gender, what other characteristics were you looking for in the artists and works you chose to feature?
LC: I really thought of the art as an extension of The Wing. I wanted to reflect the heterogeneity of the members by mixing the mediums, the careers and the age of the artists. Works by fashion photographers, painters, sculptors, collage artists, illustrators, and land artists are all hanging on the same walls. It was extremely important to assemble all their works in a way that was not hierarchical or categorial. In that sense the first room features works by established artists such as Marilyn Minter but also upcoming artists like Tschabalala Self or freshly graduated painters like Carly Burnell. While each artist carries her own message, we can see the influence that each had on the other.
CF: What is your favorite part of the new Soho location of The Wing?
AG: The scale of the SoHo space has to be my favorite part. It’s this incredible massive, dream Soho loft. I also love that the boldness of the decor is reflective of the awesome women who fill the space on a daily basis. It exudes feminine power.
CF: How do you see The Wing evolving in the future?
AG: We’re thrilled to continue growing The Wing's physical footprint and community of women, both in the US and abroad in the future. We’re ready for Wing world domination!
CF: Lolita, what is your dream curating gig (besides The Wing!)?
LC: I love what Creative Time does, I like the idea of democratizing art by making it available to the general public. I have a list of shows I dream of curating, but I'm always scared someone will steal my ideas! One of them involves artist Andrea Zittel and a department store.
CF: What’s next after millennial pink?
LC: No idea, any color that's out of a Rococo painting?
CF: Where is the most uncomfortable place you have had to change clothes or write an email etc before The Wing existed?
AG: The bathroom of a moving Acela train
CF: What do you do when you procrastinate working?
AG: I am the opposite of a procrastinator and I think it’s my superpower - Mickey Drexler of JCrew once told us that true entrepreneurs never procrastinate - they don’t put something on a list to do for later, they just do it immediately in the moment.
CF: Do you work better in the morning or at night?
CF: Thelma and Louise or The First Wives Club?
AG: First Wives Club came out during my adolescence, so I have a lot of emotional attachment to it
CF: What skin / beauty products do you swear by?
AG: CHANEL Le Lift Undereye Pads, CHANEL Sublimage Face Cream, Sephora Exfoliating Face Wipes, Joanna Vargas Euphora Face Mask
CF: What is your mantra?
AG: “I ain't afraid to love a man. I ain't afraid to shoot him either.” -- Annie Oakley
To see more images of the Soho space and the artwork, click here.