Dollhaus II, one of Bayonne’s two art galleries, is on the verge of closing permanently, and still needs funds to avoid this fate.
The gallery, owned and curated by Emma Louise, closed temporarily in mid-July following the installation of two pink mannequins in front of the gallery at 23 Cottage Street.
“It started with our art exhibition of two pink mannequins upside down attached to our building, at the entrance to our door,” she told the News from the Bayonne community.
The city threatened her with violations if the models were not removed, for the sum of $ 1,300 per violation. The installation broke a few days after it was set up, but Emma Louise had a bigger problem.
The city said the land the gallery sits on is not zoned for commercial purposes. Emma Louise said she signed a commercial lease and the property has a commercial history.
âThe part of Cottage Street I’m in, between Broadway and Orient, is really 70% commercial,â she said. âThe Dollhaus is sandwiched between two companies. Then there’s a bar, there’s a mechanic, there’s a construction company.
Closed for the moment
The city told Emma Louise it had to close until the zoning issue was corrected and she received the proper permit to operate an art gallery on the property. To do this, she would have to appear before the Bayonne Zoning Regulatory Commission.
âYou have to go through these steps,â she said. âIt’s very long and expensive. To raise $ 10,000 for the claim and attorney’s fees, she set up a GoFundMe campaign.
âPeople supported him, and it amazes me, the generosity of foreigners,â she said. âPeople were quite shocked by all of this. And so their generosity in helping the gallery was actively welcomed and so wonderful. “
The more than $ 6,800 currently raised is not enough.
âWe closed for six months during the pandemic,â said Emma Louise. âAs soon as we got some air and managed to reopen, we were told to close and cease and stop all operations. And we will be closed for the foreseeable future until the request is approved by the board. “
She hopes to raise the remaining funds in time to be on the zoning council’s agenda for September. As for the pink models?
âThis is another bridge that I’m going to have to cross once approved or disapproved,â said Emma Louise. “So I’m going to have to find out about that.” “
To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/f/legal-city-of-bayonne-fees-to-reopen-gallery.
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