Ground Floor Gallery is proud to debut “A Candle a Day.” This project by artist Véronique Gambier began as a personal gesture that evolved into an exhibition, a collective vigil, and a fundraiser for our current moment.
Beginning in December 2019, Gambier started devoting time each evening to observing and painting a single burning candle in solitude. This quiet moment became a necessary refuge from the daily stresses of maintaining both a safe household and vigorous art practice. The reality of covid-19’s presence in New York only heightened Gambier’s commitment to her family and artwork, as she was already managing considerable familial transitions and orienting her practice toward a new kind of introspection. Gambier was processing complicated feelings and logistics related to racism; her children’s futures and well being; and her role as a mother.
Gambier grew even more passionate and devoted to this sanctified daily ritual in the wake of George Floyd’s callous murder and the urgency of the Black Lives Matter movement. Both Gambier and Ground Floor Gallery owner, Krista Scenna, are mothers of African-American children—children who already have, or can soon expect—to be subjected to the same racial injustices that have always permeated through American institutions.
Through this project, we respond to this current moment by paying tribute to the dozens of precious black lives senselessly lost to police violence. They were each our brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, friends, and, above all, someone’s child.
Over the course of the summer, the gallery will be sharing “A Candle a Day” online in memoriam and also in celebration of living in the face of hardship. As we post, we invite you - our community - to leave a comment with your wish or dedication for each candle as we collectively navigate this challenging moment and work towards a safer and more equitable version of our “new normal.”
As part of the gallery's commitment to helping implement meaningful change, we will be donating $100 from the sale of each "A Candle a Day" painting to the organization, Free Arts NYC, which provides art programming to underserved kids and teens including mentorship and art supply deliveries to help them cope with these tumultuous times.