All in the Family

A husband and wife duo opens a dynamic new gallery


In the now-vibrant Monohasset Mill complex, right next to the Steel Yard, the Buonaccorsi+Agniel Gallery has just set up shop, and the Providence art scene is already in love with it. Curated and operated by two of the city’s most astute young art innovators, husband and wife Jon Buonaccorsi and Sara Agniel Buonaccorsi, the place recently opened its doors, exhibiting on an ambitious schedule and with a sense of friendly exuberance.

Agniel was proprietor of the much-loved Gallery Agniel in Providence from 1998 to 2007, and many art fans lamented its closing, wondering what Agniel’s next move would be. Five or so years and various projects and clients later, it just so happened that Buonaccorsi, founder of the globally-known-and-loved online art shop Tiny Showcase, needed to expand his fine art screenprinting studio, the Head Light Hotel. The two looked into teaming up and splitting one space, and now here it is: the print shop and common area in the back of the renovated mill space, the L-shaped gallery in the front.

YES!, the gallery’s first show, displayed the work of over 50 artists, most of them local. The walls were covered just about from floor to ceiling, and between them teemed a massive crowd of well-wishers – locals and visitors, art patrons, those just getting a look, kids in their parents’ arms, beer-swigging partiers – who all braved the chilly, rainy night to support the new venture. The new gallery smartly invited a huge list of first-rate artists to participate in the debut, spreading the word through them and establishing itself instantly as an authority on which Providence artists to watch.

Now, Buonaccorsi+Agniel is featuring In Habitat, a showing of new work by Brian Chippendale and Jungil Hong on view through December 23. Chippendale’s frenetic, vivid compositions and Hong’s richly dreamy settings are a natural pairing for the space. Both showed at Gallery Agniel frequently, so it’s a reunion of sorts.

Buonaccorsi and Agniel themselves have a relaxed, yet energized air about their new partnership. They’re excited that so many old friends turned out for the gallery’s opening – even with the changes of the five years since Gallery Agniel closed. “It’s like you hit a pause button, and when you hit it again, there were a bunch of kids,” Agniel jokes – and that includes the proprietors themselves, who have a one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Lucia. All sorts of collaborative possibili- ties are popping up between Tiny Showcase, the Head Light Hotel and Buonaccorsi+Agniel – including plans for special events, limited edition prints, and off-the-beaten-path, affordable works. Agniel and Buonaccorsi have long invested in the art and artists of Providence – it’s great to see them continuing that work together.

In Habitat, featuring new work by Brian Chippendale and Jungil Hong, is up through December 23. For the holidays, a pop-up show featuring ten different screen-printed wrapping papers by artists from around the world will take place in the gallery on December 2, and on Tiny Showcase. Contact the gallery for more information.