Fisher Parrish in Bushwick is a gallery which reflects the community that supports it. Co-founder Zoe Fisher explains that “showing up in Bushwick and closing the doors would be weird”. The collaborative, community driven spirit of Bushwick is what inspired her to come in the first place, and to stay in the same location for more than five years.
Zoe Fisher’s journey as a gallery owner began as a senior at Sarah Lawrence College, where she developed a thesis project on opening a store which would sell artist objects. This thesis combined her interests in arts and design. It also turned into her first gallery and store, which she opened in Bushwick with two other Sarah Lawrence graduates. After the three parted ways after three successful years, Zoe started Fisher Parrish as a collaboration with Patrick Parrish of Patrick Parrish Gallery.
While Fisher Parrish isn’t intended to break the gallery mold, it does operate differently than galleries in other neighborhoods or with different focuses. The gallery puts an emphasis on emerging artists, affordable prices, guest curation, and maintains an interest in the intersection of art and design. Sometimes, work from more established artists is put together with the work of emerging artists, a trick which can re-contextualize both pieces. Fisher Parrish is also influenced by its community. Zoe described the gallery as almost like a daycare on weekends, with local children coming in and out. That was why, when a local middle school reached out, the gallery agreed to host a one night only exhibit of their end of the year show. Other shows from the gallery’s recent past include Got it for Cheap, a travelling show which caps pieces at very affordable prices. These different types of shows are supported by the arts community in Brooklyn, which Zoe described as way more of a community space, and as one which is frequented by artists rather than collectors.
While Zoe recognizes that different galleries have different goals and strategies, she does believe that the industry as a whole could benefit from integrating more closely with their communities. She also mentioned the importance of giving young artists (even as young as middle school) opportunities by showing their work. This advice is especially applicable to the New York gallery scene today. As gentrification becomes a more widely recognized issue, efforts by galleries to integrate into their communities and adapt to their needs are very important. This is especially important as galleries expand outside Manhattan, into more traditionally diverse and community driven neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Fisher Parrish also encourages not only young artists, but also young buyers by focusing on selling pieces at affordable prices. Integrating rather than ostracizing young buyers is a practice which will quickly prove very important to the art market, and which many galleries could benefit from.