PARK SLOPE: The former dialysis center located on the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Sterling Place has undergone quite a transformation—from a sterile, clinical storefront to an inviting, sleek pop-up art gallery and café.
Making its debut last Thursday, August 10, Wifey is a unique addition to Flatbush— a bright, beautifully designed, welcoming space, featuring a carefully curated roster of collaborators organized by the artist Simone Shubuck and gallerist Janine Foeller.
“We wanted to make and show work that exists outside the traditional parameters of an exhibition space,” the pair explains in a statement posted on their Instagram page. “We wanted it to be a place where art, flowers, food and ideas could intersect to create something new. We started with Simone’s work–her drawings, paintings, ceramics and floral arrangements–and extended outward, pulling in chefs, makers and bakers,” they add, punctuating their message with the hashtag #NOTACAFE.
“I always wanted to do a project with Simone,” Foeller told BKLYNER Saturday afternoon. “I came up with the idea that I just wanted Simone to take over this space and conceive it as her own, as an entire installation,” she explains, allowing her friend to integrate her various passions and talents such as art, food, floral design, and ceramics into the space.
“All of this is Simone’s vision entirely. Every element was designed by her, from the flowers and the ceramics to the more formal exhibition component,” Foeller, a Park Slope resident, adds.
“There were some nice surprises,” Shubuck says of Wifey’s opening day. “There was a woman and her daughters who came from Minnesota. They’d been following our Instagram.”
“On our first day, we were shocked that we were on somebody’s list. That’s the lovely part of social media,” she adds.
Shubuck enlisted a crew of talented collaborators, including Clinton Hill’s Parlor Coffee, Brooklyn Bread Club, potter Julie Hirschfield, and artist Andrew Kuo. Café Altro Paradiso will serve delicious cakes, soft-serve ice cream, and sandwiches made with baker Pam Yung’s specially developed focaccia bread. Bon Appétit Magazine’s test kitchen manager, Brad Leone, created a tepache (a fermented Mexican kombucha with pineapple, ginger, and habañero) and a cultured butter especially for Wifey.
The space also features an exhibition area in the back currently showcasing Shubuck’s intricate, abstract works on paper. “She’ll be adding works throughout the next four or five weeks and then it will culminate in a final exhibition that will open on the 22nd of September,” Foeller explains.
Next month’s exhibit will launch “in tandem” with a show in an adjoining space where Foeller is working to develop a larger contemporary art gallery project.
Speaking of works of art, be sure to check out Shubuck’s gorgeous floral arrangements displayed throughout Wifey—each is a masterpiece!
336 Flatbush Avenue, Park Slope
Hours: Thursday – Sunday, 8am to 3pm