Blowout Gallery/Rara-Avis Celebrates One Year Anniversary In New GLAM District

blowout storefront

Looking for something fun to do tonight? Come celebrate the one-year anniversary of the gallery formerly known as Blowout. The owners–Charlie Potters, Dino Eulette, and Bill Sakas–will be serving drinks and snacks from 6-9pm on Friday, March 29th to thank friends and patrons for their support. The shop’s new name, Blowout Gallery/Rara-Avis, better reflects what people will find inside, says Potters. Rara-Avis is an unusual, uncommon, or exceptional person or thing.

blowout charlie
Charlie Potters, co-owner of Blowout Gallery/Rara-Avis.

The proprietors of the “Clubhouse of Cool” each focus on a particular time period and type of design. Potters is an expert in American folk art and 16th-19th century fine and decorative arts, Eulette specializes in high-style 20th century and mid-century modern, and Sakas is a collector of 20th century toys and other objects, photography, and ephemera. These “three very different sets of eyes” give the carefully curated gallery its distinctive style, says Potters. What the three men have in common is a love of high quality design. “We all enjoy the finer things in life, are passionate about objects, and we’re each a little quirky,” admits Potters.

How does the troika decide what makes it into the gallery? “The basic criteria is simple,” says Potters. “An object has to be an original—no reproductions allowed. And it has to fall into one of the following categories: cool, interesting or ‘best in show.’”

cobra belt buckle blowout
Elsa Peretti’s silver belt buckle.

An example of cool, says Potters, is a floor lamp built out of over 850 dark dice that’s currently on display in the shop’s window. It’s signed by the artist, and carries a price tag of $1,200. An imposing ironwood war club from the Marquesas Islands defines interesting, and sells for $2,100. A never-worn Hop Along Cassidy watch for children falls into the “best in show” category and goes for $100.

An item that “hits all cylinders” for Potters is a shiny, sterling silver belt buckle designed by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany. It was owned by Peretti’s supermodel pal, Naomi Sims. A similar buckle is owned by the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) says Potters. Blowout’s price tag: $2,400.

The owners understand that many of their objects are budget busters, so they also carry items for under $100. A sleek 1950’s Burmese pipe with cooling vents that sells for $49 is a fine example of something more affordable.

vented pipe
1950’s vented pipe.

To view more photos and read descriptions of the shop’s wares, visit their highly entertaining Facebook page.

GLAM UPDATE

The gallery owners are active members of Montclair’s brand new Glenridge Avenue Merchants (GLAM) District. (We had the scoop earlier this week.) Glam was recently created to improve the parking, lighting, plantings and signage on Glenridge Avenue. “We wanted to be a part of GLAM’s efforts because we feel that we and our neighbors are best served in taking these initiatives ourselves,” says Potters, “rather than waiting for the town to act on our behalf.” The GLAM group met earlier this week with landscape designer Kelly Forsythe, and plans to begin beautifying the area–which runs from Salute Brick Oven Bistro to Jerry’s Antiques and Estates–starting next month.

Blowout Gallery/Rara-Avis

Address: 209 Glenridge Avenue

Telephone: 973-493-9140

Hours: The gallery is only officially open from noon to 4 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, but they’re also open “by chance or appointment.” The owners, most of whom live nearby, assure us that’s just a “fancy way of saying that we’re often there anyway, but even if we’re not – just call us and we’ll meet ya’ there if at all possible.” 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Geez. I just read this – too late – too! How about a re-do? Spring is great time to be in Montclair Center. How about a repeat of “serving drinks and snacks from 6-9pm on Friday,… to thank friends and patrons for their support.

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