Hudson Gallery Owner Carrie Haddad

Gallery owner Carrie Haddad celebrates two decades of art openings and hip happenings in Hudson


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carrie haddadSuccess story: Owner Carrie Haddad in her Warren Street gallery

Photograph by Jennifer May

Age 57
In a galaxy far, far away I grew up in San Francisco. I went to Berkeley but didn’t finish.
First calling I was a professional dancer. In San Francisco, the dance company I was with was like the Alvin Ailey of the West Coast. I went to New York City to be a famous dancer; I guess I kind of fell short there.
Not in Kansas anymore I auditioned for a Broadway show and went, whoa! There was a whole other kind of thing: gypsy dancers. They looked like prostitutes with all that hair and the eyelashes, leotards up high, high-heeled shoes. I thought, “Where do you guys study?”
On buying her first painting It was called Carrying a Heavy Load by Edith Vonnegut, Kurt Vonnegut’s daughter.
It takes two to tango I met my husband in New York, married in 1983, and popped out two kids.
Valley bound We moved to Red Hook in 1985. I went kicking and screaming, but I really did love it.
Résumé padder I’d worked in a restaurant in Soho and they had a gallery on their walls, but that was it. I was only the waitress.
Her first business model [The gallery] started as a co-op; it’s a cowardly way to enter business — it’s like a safety net. I had about 12 artists. Took 10 percent commission. That lasted one year, then I was on my own — and commissions went up to 40 percent.
Most expensive piece in 1991 $500
Least expensive piece in 2011 $500
The key to gallery survival The antiques dealers in Hudson; they’re fabulous people. They collectively were advertising and had a critical mass that brought customers in.
Her friendly little city If I’m going to get a flat tire, I want to be in Hudson! The old-timey people are so helpful, so nice.
On taking drawing classes at Bard College I now have a huge respect for artists from taking those classes. It’s so demanding, how long it takes to do a drawing or painting.
Bumper-sticker slogan “Buy art, not drugs.” No, that’s a flippant answer.
Bumper-sticker slogan, take two “Show the art you love.” It’s so easy to try to sell it because you’re not lying.
Dead-artist fantasy tête-à-tête I don’t know what I’d ask him, but I love [French artist Edouard] Vuillard. If he came over for dinner, I guess I’d ask, “Where do you get your colors?”
Favorite Valley sight The sunset over the Hudson River. I guess it’s something that’s in a lot of paintings that I love. That pink light in the sky. Those are the sunsets that inspired so many artists who have come here. And still do.

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