White Post Studio, Inc. is a new design studio and contemporary art gallery in Virginia’s verdant Shenandoah Valley. This converted historic railroad warehouse is now a countryside hub for contemporary art, design and creative tomfoolery. Founded by Nanu Al-Hamad, Alan Paukman, Ryan Leahey and Thome Fole.
As a gallery, artist residency and regional nonprofit, White Post Studio careens forward in an experimental approach to gallery dealings—a direct challenge to both the artist and the collector. The gallery abides by three “commandments” as its foundational pillars:
1. Art is for exultation.
2. Your money’s no good here: art may only be acquired by essay, trade or direct donation to the artist.
3. Unacquired artwork will be destroyed on the last day of the exhibition.
Artists at White Post Studio will have full control of artwork acquisition, with an emphasis on nonmonetary exchange; otherwise, the artwork risks destruction. Collectors who cannot afford a donation may provide a nonmonetary exchange; those who can are encouraged to acquire work more aggressively, saving it from destruction. These principles create a pointed conversation about the commerce of art and the role of artist and collector.
The Artist & Owner: Nanu Al-Hamad (b. 1987) is an artist and designer recently transplanted to White Post, Virginia, via Kuwait, California and New York City. Al-Hamad’s practice is a unique hybrid of interlocking facets: Al-Hamad Design, a design studio producing functionally absurd objects and furniture; the international art collective GCC, of which he is a founding member; and POWERHOUSE, a concept design duo. Al-Hamad’s work has been exhibited in the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Storefront for Art and Architecture, NY; Swiss Institute, NY; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris; Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; New Museum, NY; MoMA PS1, NY; Contemporary Art Platform, Kuwait; Sultan Gallery, Kuwait; Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin; Project Native Informant, London; Mitchell-Innes & Nash, NY; and design fairs ICFF, Downtown Design Dubai, and Salone del Mobile.