‘Whatever Is Said Here, Stays Here’: New York Gallerist Courtney Willis Blair on Founding a Supper Club for Black Women in the Art World
Art Business

‘Whatever Is Said Here, Stays Here’: New York Gallerist Courtney Willis Blair on Founding a Supper Club for Black Women in the Art World

Courtney Willis Blair. Photographer: Darío Calmese. It was around the time that Courtney Willis Blair assumed her position as a director at Chelsea gallery Mitchell-Innes & Nash that she was struck by the idea to forge a network between women of color in the New York art industry. “I was beginning to see more and more young, capable black women dealers and directors in galleries,” Blair tells artnet News. So she decided to implement a dinner club, unfettered by formality, structure, or theme, through which black women in the local art world could “come together to share space, stories, and eat.” In December 2016, Blair extended an invitation to eight women—including a few ladies whom she had heard of, but hadn’t yet crossed paths with—for the first of a now-quarterly series of dinner parties, which she would come to call Entre Nous (French for “between us”). Entre Nous was introduced with two conditions: “Whatever is said here, stays here” and “this is not about competition or sizing one another up.” Instead, Entre Nous was presented as a catalyst for kinship. The inaugural group congregated at Miss Lily’s on Houston Street in Soho, where they savored Jamaican food over hours […]

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