This spring, two township residents hope their new Cedar Lane business will prove that good things come in small packages.
Scott Harris and his wife Sarah Jack will open their art gallery and retail space on April 2 in a quaint storefront at 445A Cedar Lane. The gallery will be named BLAST, which stands for bank-left-art-space-Teaneck. The story behind the first part of the name developed from the couple’s favorite pastime, which involves driving by buildings and dreaming up ways to utilize the space.
“The Dunkin Donuts on Cedar Lane (near Palisades Avenue) is located where an abandoned bank used to be,” Harris said. “Before it became Dunkin Donuts, Sarah and I would imagine that it would one day become art space. That’s where the ‘bank-left’ phrase of the name came from.”
Harris describes his storefront as “a little sliver squashed between two other buildings.”
“It’s such a tiny store – it’s only about eight feet wide inside,” Harris said. “The left wall will feature work by an artist each month, and the right wall will be packed floor to ceiling with merchandise. We’ll sell T-shirts, jewelry, music, books, and an eclectic selection of artist-made jewelry and purses.”
Besides being a graphic designer and running his own content-production business, Harris is also an artist. He said he may sneak some of his own creations into the retail space, but he’s not looking to showcase only his talent.
BLAST’s gallery space is booked nearly one-year out. The public can view the art and attend receptions for free. Harris said he hopes to eventually bring in live musical performances and even movie nights. He said he’ll announce the events to those on an email list or who follow the gallery via Facebook or Twitter.
“We really can’t fit more than 25 people at a time in the store for such events, so we’ll take reservations on a first-come, first-served basis,” Harris said.
FINDING A GOOD FIT IN TEANECK
The couple moved to Teaneck about 10 years ago after living in the West Village in New York City for about 20 years. Harris said he and his family, which now include two children, love the diversity of the town and that it’s a “hop, skip and a jump” from the city.
A couple months ago, the family was featured in an article in The Record about their home’s “living” roof, which is an environmentally friendly design involving live plants that not only curb rainwater runoff but also cut down on utility bills with their natural-insulating properties.
“It’s amazing how much fame that article brought me, specifically because of the photo that accompanied the article,” said Harris, who’s featured peering out his home’s second-story window onto the green roof. “I’m hugely famous in my kids’ eyes.”
Jack is an art lover as well, though she took more of a corporate route for her career. She worked in the publishing field for nearly 20 years before recently losing her job. She’s now doing consulting work, and, with her master’s degree in social work, she’s also doing career coaching.
“This is an interesting and creative time for me and Scott,” she said. “We both get to use the skills we learned through our respective corporate backgrounds and apply it to developing our brick-and-mortar store.”
Both Harris and Jack said they couldn’t be happier living in Teaneck and establishing deeper roots in the community with the eventual opening of their gallery.
“We’ve gotten to meet so many local business people, which has been great,” Jack said. “We hope to bring a new flavor of creativity to the town and provide a great place for art to be appreciated.”
The first artist to be featured in April is Jad Fair, followed by Riley Martin in May. For more information about the gallery or to request gallery space, contact Scott Harris at Scott@BlastGallery.com.