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The CAMP Gallery’s Resilience: A Story of Adversity & Creativity at Zonamaco Art Fair
A tale of resilience, determination, and the indomitable spirit of artists and galleries
Feature 13 Feb 2024

In the bustling landscape of Zonamaco, the annual international art fair in Mexico City, The Contemporary Art Modern Project Gallery (The CAMP Gallery) made its much-anticipated debut. However, their journey to the prestigious art fair was anything but smooth sailing.

Excited to exhibit their esteemed artists, Manju Shandler and Chiara No (who was included in and a nominee for this year’s Erarta Prize) the CAMP Gallery eagerly accepted the opportunity, knowing it could be a pivotal moment for their artists’ careers. Little did they know, fate had other plans in store.
As their carefully curated art crates languished in customs, The CAMP Gallery found themselves facing an unforeseen dilemma – an empty booth awaiting artworks that seemed lost in transit. Undeterred by this setback, Shandler and No, fueled by sheer determination, took matters into their own hands.

MANJU SHANDLER TAURUS, 2022
Acrylic Paint, Gesso, Thread, Transfer Printing, Oil Stick on Canvas

With makeshift tools and a projector, they transformed blank booth walls into canvases, sketching their works in unknown territory with precision and passion. It was a testament to their resilience, turning adversity into an opportunity for spontaneous creativity.

Despite their valiant efforts, Chiara No’s nomination for the prestigious Erarta Prize hung in the balance. Without her artwork present, she could no longer be considered for the award. It was a bitter pill to swallow, a stark reminder of the unpredictable nature of the art world.

CHIARA NO HER/ETIC, 2020 Yarn, Cow Leather, Fake Hair, Nylon, Silk Poppies, Thread, and Recycled Plastic Bags 198.1 x 167.6 x 61 cm

Manju Shandler’s attempt to salvage the situation by sending the artwork hand-carried by her husband from New York was met with caution from all quarters. The risk was too great, jeopardizing the artworks and their journey to Mexico City.

Yet, amidst the chaos and uncertainty, The CAMP Gallery found solace in the unwavering support of the fair organizers and the visitors who flocked to their booth. The makeshift sketches garnered admiration and praise, a testament to the power of raw talent transcending physical limitations.

As the fair progressed, The CAMP Gallery’s story spread like wildfire – a tale of resilience, determination, and the indomitable spirit of artists and galleries navigating the treacherous waters of the art world.

In the end, despite the crates never reaching their intended destination, The CAMP Gallery emerged stronger, their resolve unshaken. For in the face of adversity, they found opportunity; in the absence of artworks, they discovered the true essence of creativity. And in the heart of Zonamaco, their story became a beacon of hope for artists and art enthusiasts alike, reminding us all of the enduring power of the human spirit.

Interested to learn more about CAMP Gallery, and  Manju Shandler and Chiara No’s art? Visit their website here

Images courtesy of CAMP Gallery

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