It Takes A Village (Fernando Alvarez)


From The Desk Of…

Fernando Alvarez, Owner, Alvarez Gallery

It takes a village, but who creates a village?
I founded the contemporary Alvarez Gallery in 2009 in downtown Stamford with a focus to build artists’ careers and community. In our time in Stamford, we helped grow emerging and mid-career artists to impressive levels. In addition, the Gallery acquired an important collection from a Holocaust survivor, including her personal art and the rights to her story. The collection remains intact as we have not sold any of her works, including those depicting
her experience in the Holocaust. The little Gallery that could, also landed its name permanently at the Charles V Hall at the Louvre in Paris, France for sponsoring the Joseph Kosuth solo exhibition “Ni Appearance, Ni Illusion” —considered the most important living conceptual artist. Most importantly, the Gallery served as a conduit to give back to the community, and we are most proud of having turned around the Yerwood Center, which serves
underprivileged children in the west side of Stamford, CT.

One day I received a call from Wheelhouse Properties’ head of construction, Gary Zarra, a friend from junior high school, whom I had not seen since. He began talking about some “mega project” named The Village in Stamford,
saying, “it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before,” and asked if I wanted to be recommended to the co-owners to curate the art in the space. Gary was telling me that I’ve never seen anything like it in the area, but I thought I’d
seen it all. My response to him was, “that sounds wonderful, but who’s behind the project?”  

I met the Montgomerys first through their team, who made it evident that this incredible pool of talent was not only passionately inspired by its founders (as some had been with them through previous companies), but also
seemed to be the happiest, friendliest, most hard-working and loyal people, equipped with a great sense of pride to be part of the Montgomerys’ mission. When the meeting finally happened, there was no need for an introduction, as
I had learned that their strength or DNA was in the way they empowered people around them. 
When I was introduced to Jess Zackham, head of culture at The Village, we quickly went into “go” mode. From the start, Jess became a mentor and the more we talked, the more I was invested in the vision. As Jess guided me
through the ecosystem at The Village and explained this multi-pronged, ambitious project, it was apparent that it required the highest level of curation. I knew that when curating it would be essential to stay true to The Village’s
mission – create community and opportunity amongst entrepreneurs, creators, investors, and corporations. 

The Village is an actual village, where people, community, dialogue, deals, alliances, investments, fine dining and fine art will make any vision come to reality, and I’m honored to be involved.

Be on the lookout for the next solo exhibit curated by Fernando and Alvarez Gallery coming to The Village lobby in 2022.