F.U.E.L., the space

fuel being served at F.U.E.L.

The crowds in formal wear outside that new “gallery” F.U.E.L. were invited more for a presentation of an elegant event venue than for a look at art, which was sort of a lagniappe, an added dollop of cachet for the glorious space.

The clues that art was not the real subject included the gorgeous white curtain suggesting brides and grooms and wedding cakes (see Roberta’s post), the table of food, lavishly decorated, the servers with trays of goodies, and the opening event itself.


Then there was the question of how a gallery with art in so many different spaces on different levels of a building could possibly be safely supervised, unless it was one visitor at a time. The answer is, you can only see the work by appointment.

But enough of my griping. As independent curator Marsha Moss said, it’s great to have a previously derelict space in Old City fixed up and put to good use. And as Libby said, it’s great to have original, contemporary work shown anywhere.

Santoleri takes a break from his mural that he painted on opening night at F.U.E.L.

Inside, I found Paul Santoleri painting a mural, looking relaxed in front of what must have been 10 x 12 feet of white wall for him to cover while the party buzzed behind him. He expected to finish that night!

Nearby, his mom was proudly admiring his work. Amazingly enough, she was the second proud mom I met Friday. I also met Jeremy Fish‘s mom, Niki Mook, at Space 1026! The only other artist’s mom I’ve ever met is Zoe Strauss‘ mom, Ilene Baker.

Santoleri mentioned he was also in a group show, “Black & White,” at Projects Gallery right now, along with a number of the Projects regulars like Henry Bermudez and Frank Hyder.

Santoleri’s book, his business cards, and postcards for “Black & White”

And on the floor near Santoleri rested a book he had made of his work. The work is outstanding of course, and the book is $100. For info on it, you’ll have to reach him via his website.

I have a couple more pictures at Flickr of the opening.