Deep Cuts explores all that is underrepresented in the world of art—artworks, artists, museums, and movements.

Today we’re with the artist Joanie Gagnon San Chirico in discussion of a Deep Cut not too far from home: the Noyes Museum of Art in Galloway, New Jersey. Galloway is a coastal town right north of Atlantic City, and isn’t the most expected spot for a cultural institution. Start us off: what is your personal history with the Noyes Museum? 

I was juried in as a Signature Artist member in 2007 which entitled me to participate in a yearly group show with other Signature Artist members. In addition, I co-curated an show of radical textiles with Dorrie Papademetriou, I’ve spoken at one of their get to know the artist events, participated in their Gala, and was invited to show work in a Sandy Hurricane related exhibition.

(Credit: Tom Briglia)

And what makes (made) the Noyes Museum so unique?

It was an unusual location for a contemporary art museum, in the middle of the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. The building itself is on Lily Lake with beautiful views out of the glassed in rear of the building. In addition, they have a permanent collection that is somewhat surprising in that it contains many very famous artists’ work. They also had very interesting and thought provoking exhibits.

If you could describe their curatorial personality, how would you?

Dorrie Papademetriou was the curator while I was a member there. She brought many interesting exhibits to the museum, some of outsider art, textiles as I mentioned above, work from famous artists now and when they were at art school to compare their directions then and now, and so many more excellent shows. Dorrie was instrumental in creating exhibits that would be worthy to be shown in any larger and more well-known art museums in New York or Philadelphia.

In researching Noyes, the word ‘oasis’ appeared multiple times. Do you think this standalone quality should have made a stronger case for keeping the institution?

Yes, its closing has left a large gaping cultural hole in the southern section of New Jersey.

There was also talk of the closing reflecting the broader economic picture of the region. Hard to think the same market influencers that effect casinos could bring down a cultural institution. But so it goes.

Yes, I’m sure the bleak financial situation of Atlantic City didn’t help. 

The purpose of this series is to uncover the underrepresented in the world of art and, given it’s no longer an option to send our readers out to Noyes, can you think of an equally deserving museum or cultural center?

The Noyes has moved some of its operations to the Arts Garage in AC, the Stockton University Gallery and to the museum’s Hammonton location but those spaces lack the character of the original with its 4 galleries and rotating exhibits. I don’t know of any other art museums in the vicinity without traveling unfortunately.