Gulchik invited us to conduct our interview in a loft in Williamsburg. Friends of hers were making a video and she was tasked with painting one of the dancer's’ lithe bodies. We met several of Gulchik’s friends, who offered us drinks and conversation. She wanted to show us an aspect of her art work that is more dynamic and collaborative than the pieces she shows at The Stand.
Gulchik started to paint following a car accident in 2010. The accident left her in excruciating pain and for months her mobility was limited. “My doctor refused to give me drugs. He said “paint, it will help you lose the pain.” She began learning to paint by watching Youtube clips, then went on to ask questions at her local art store. What was meant to be simple pain relief, became a passionate driving force.
In response to seeing her neighborhood change, Gulchik’s work is a documentation of the local haunts and new institutions that have been sprouting up in the gentrifying Alphabet City, New York. Gulchik has captured many storefronts in the area; from classy establishments like Lucien’s to the rowdy Zum Schneider. While living on 7th street, she has also seen countless beautiful front doors get replaced by glass and metal contraptions. In response she started to paint sweet little miniature paintings of the doorways, which are one of the most popular sellers at The Stand.
Gulchik lived within a minutes walk from The Stand. With a passion for painting and a need for healing, it was almost inevitable that she would meet Lori and become a part of The Stand community. The love between her and Lori was instant, with Gulchik describing Lori as someone who is between a muse and a mom.
Lori’s devotion to her artists is obvious. Gulchik observes that many individuals come to The Stand and leave as artists; her encouragement opening up creative doors within them. This is particularly the case with those who are homeless, transient or have experienced certain traumas in life. Lori, she claims, helps them to build confidence, to become driven to make art and as a result, even change the course of their life.
The Stand feels like family to Gulchik. Summer nights are filled with songs, making art and being in the company of accepting and inspiring creatives. Art has also changed her own life; changing the way she sees things, the way she sees people around her. It has allowed her to meet new people that work to change the world by “showing the beauty, love and music”.
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