Women's History Month: Hannah Traore hopes to celebrate everyone at gallery showcasing underrepresented artists

Women’s History Month: Hannah Traore hopes to celebrate everyone at gallery showcasing underrepresented artists

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NEW YORK — As Women’s History Month winds down, we look to the future and the women who will be making their mark.

CBS2’s Mary Calvi introduces us to one young woman who’s working to bring people together through an appreciation of art in a gallery that welcomes and celebrates everyone.

The Hannah Traore Gallery on Orchard Street is just a few months old. The space, and its namesake owner, are new to this New York art scene.

“Being a young woman I feel has informed everything I do,” Traore said.

That includes the artists Traore chooses to exhibit at her gallery.

“We’re representing and working with mostly artists of color, queer artists, Indigenous artists, women, immigrant artists,” she said.

She adds there’s also a personal connection with them.

“Being a Black woman, being a Jewish Muslim woman, I think every identity that everyone has within them informs everything they do subconsciously or consciously,” Traore said.

At 27, Traore already has a sharp vision. As a student of art history and former intern at the Museum of Modern Art, she says her intent was to lay the groundwork with a diversity of pieces in her first exhibition. But, she says, she still wanted the space to offer something more.

“A lot of people who look like me usually don’t feel comfortable in a gallery setting,” Traore said. “I want all types of people to be in the space. And when people come in, they say all the time, you know, this is one of the first galleries I’ve felt welcome in.”

Renee Cox is an established artist and photographer who will be exhibiting her work there in April. She says she liked what she saw in Traore’s approach.

“Somebody who’s young, who is familiar with my work and the accomplishments that I’ve made over a 30 year career,” Cox said. “I was like, alright, this one has got it together.”

Cox adds she’s in step with the statement the gallery and its owner are trying to make

“It’s about doing the work, having the work be out there, and then having a discourse around the work that gives license to the younger ones coming up, to be able to say, hey, oh, wow, I can do that, too,” she said.

“I see being a young Black woman as being my superpower,” Traore said. “I was not someone who created the elitism in the art world, but I do as a human feel that it’s my responsibility to, to change those things. And I actually think a gallery is a really great place to do that.”

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