The contemporary art world is constantly changing, and we are going along for the Ride. The Ride Gallery has a strong mission of finding and promoting the latests trends in contemporary art of all kinds. Upgrading the gallery system into the 21st century, Ride seeks to incorporate as much interactive technology in its most creative way possible. We are as committed to our own growth as we are to promoting that of our artists.
The Ride Gallery launched in 2013 with the mission of bringing a new platform for underground artists on a global level. Founded by Samuel Anderson after a successful career as Managing Director of the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia, the gallery focused on elevating the underground surf and street culture into the gallery system. “There is an extraordinary undercurrent of creative talent working beneath the veneer of the contemporary art world and, undoubtedly, street and surf cultures serve as both nexus and proving ground for new aesthetics,” says Anderson. “The Ride Gallery will provide global exposure to these exciting new talents while also providing a very accessible entry point for collectors.” Having worked with such artists as Fred Wilson, Bill Viola and Yinka Shonibare, MBE, Anderson embarked in a creative pursuit with a more vibrant scene.
After a short hiatus, MAC Calabria takes over as managing director of the Ride Gallery in 2014. This marked the expansion of the gallery into Central America, officially establishing new headquarters in Panama City, Panama in 2015. Anderson’s legacy of shining a spotlight on the up and coming lives on—seeking trends in design, surf and street culture—and their transcendence into the fine arts.
With MAC, the Ride Gallery evolves into an all-encompassing digital gallery, maintaining the pop-up aspect started by Anderson. Our mission as a gallery grows as we look to not only support young artists, but give them the tools and nerve to become entrepreneurs in the business of art.
“My career in the arts changed dramatically following my first visit to Central America in 2005. Since then I’ve understood that the arts are not just a vital outlet for expression, but that they also serve as an undeniable vehicle for responsible social and economic development,” says Anderson.
The Ride Gallery has a secondary educational mission to cultivate arts-based entrepreneurship in the developing world. It is in the hands of every artists, gallery, museum or other arts-affiliated institution to promote critical thinking when it comes to the art world. Ride feels much can be accomplished by giving people of all ages the opportunity to be in the artists’ shoes. Professional development from this perspective allows students to understand the real world application of many concepts that are not always palpable.
After its relocation to Panama City, the gallery puts in motion the first steps to the establishment of the Ride Arts Center, albeit not having a physical space yet. Our first education outreach program, the Panama Adelante exhibitions, was set into gears and yielded a very successful children’s show. For more information, you can visit the exhibition’s page, Panama Adelante 2015. The success of this show provided the fuel to kick start the rest of our educational program, starting March 2016.
MAC comes to the Ride Gallery to provide a multicultural perspective as well as a keen eye for trends and storytelling. A sequential artist, MAC is a believer in the accuracy of representation and the journey behind it. After his start in the SCAD Museum of Art and later at Non-Fiction Gallery, he understood the satisfaction behind the curation and design of an exhibition. “Each curation is a visual story unfolding on the gallery walls,” MAC says. “As you create the story, the context and narrative in each piece give context to the full exhibition.”
A perpetual student of contemporary trends and and modernist artistic expression, our curator believes in the power behind bringing elements from different fields and giving them a new context as art. “Artists have now lost the fear of venturing past common and traditional practice and this is creating a whole new aesthetic realm,” MAC comments. “New media in all of its forms is bringing along a new era of art, and we want to be a leading part of it!”
His training has relentlessly brought him back to the field of education. Developing our mission with the Art Center, MAC has skillfully been working on developing a multi-disciplinary understanding of the creative process as well as the business aspect of the art world. “Success in the real world usually comes with some trial and error, regardless of your background,” MAC shares. “I believe our curriculum should emulate real world environments for our students to have a first hand experience through project-based educational programs.”