Representation Matters

Representation Matters

Representation Matters

Four women pool their resources to create a
new kind of art collective with an emphasis on
underrepresented voices.

by Noemi Florea photography by Donna Dotan

WHAT STARTED OUT as meetings between friends became an organic collaboration between four women dedicated to building an accessible and diverse platform for artists. 4 Flavors Art, created by Heather Carter, Kathryn McGuire, Ria Asmeaeilzadah, and Lana Masor, is a unique coalition of four women with art and design backgrounds, combining their skills to launch artists of all backgrounds. “We each have our own businesses independently, and we’re looking to support each other while finding artists that we Can collectively launch into bigger museums, private collections, and homes,” explains McGuire, who runs the Cilerestory Fine Art gallery in Montclair.

The four decided to collaborate after hosting an open-air art show at Lana Masor’s house. “We were able to display art in a beautiful way in a setting where people felt safe” says Masor, an interior designer and founder of Maison Masor. Being able to coordinate despite uncertain circumstances has been fortunate, and Carter, founder of Carter Fine Art Services, says, “The chemistry is incredible, the support of each other, the collaborative efforts, the positive energy. We all feel so fortunate to find each other at such a challenging time”

4 Flavors Art has coalesced into a curatorial acquisitions team branching in four distinctive
directions. While McGuire and Carter have previously worked in the academic art world—McGuire at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Carter in promoting artists of color—
Asmaeilzadah runs a conservation-framing business and Masor is an interior designer.
Asmaeilzadah adds that “with Lana’s interior design skills, she can help make people fee!
comfortable about making sure a piece will fit into their home.” McGuire says, “We’re trying
to find ways that we can pool our resources and build upon each other’s strengths,” adding
“it was always based on a lot of good faith and supporting each other”

When considering the New York art world at large, the women at 4 Flavors Art agree on its
many barriers to emerging artists: “There are so many artists who just can’t tap into it because they don’t have representation. We’re trying to break down those barriers and work outside of those megalith galleries. We’re trying to help the little guys,” McGuire expressed. In promoting diversity of ethnicity, gender, and orientation, they are also striving to present original art as something accessibie.

“One of the biggest challenges is to overcome the misconception that original art is too
expensive,” Asmaefizadah says, and Masor adds, “Art can be accessible. You can own an original piece of art, something that speaks to you with a strong message, with soul to it” To break down the different obstacles, 4 Flavors Art hosts art shows with a wide range of prices, largely to encourage buying in the moment. They work to create an approachable atmosphere, without the intimidation factor that sometimes pervades larger galleries.

The goal of 4 Flavors Art is to let guests feel comfortable in observing and connecting with
the artists’ work. “Art is a really beautiful way to open up conversations and understand different cultures and perspectives.” In a tenuous period in all of our lives, that’s something much neaded. Within the collective, it’s easy to see that “there’s a sense of real gratitude that we all found each other. There’s a lot of love and support and enthusiasm in this relationship between the four of us,” Masor attests.

4 Flavors Art host events, often with collaborating spaces such as Montclair Art Museum and each of the four women’s personal galleries and homes. Many programs will support charitable organizations, and their most recent show benefitted the African American
Cultural Committee of Montclair Art Museum, a committee both Heather Carter and Kathryn
McGuire are members of. Their new office in Montclair also features art on display and is a
welcoming space for art enthusiasts to visit.

4 Flavors Art, 204 Bellevue Avenue, Montclair; 4flavorsart.com DT

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