"Doubles?" Sparks Craft-Art Career

December 8, 2015, The New Haven Independent, by Lucy Gellman - "Before his choice to leave the New York gallery scene for timid one in New Haven, before he purchased the Frame Shop in 2002 to turn it into The Frame Shop & Westville Gallery, and certainly before he was informally crowned the unofficial “mayor of Westville,” Gabriel Da Silva was a 17 year-old Uruguayan immigrant working odd jobs in New Haven to “make ends meet” as he, his parents and three siblings sought to put a life underrotating military dictatorships in Montevideo behind them. He was homesick, and working hard, and not entirely sure what the future would hold. That all changed when the now outgoing gallery owner met an unlikely friend in 1991: an Argentine immigrant from Buenos Aires who, by chance, was standing in line with him at Lighthouse Point, waiting to get in on a volleyball game. “This person next to me says: ‘Would you want to play doubles?’” Da Silva recalled during an interview on WNHH’s “Open for Business,” breaking into a smile as he spoke. “We go in. I say: ‘Sure.’ I detected an accent, I asked him where he was from. He was from Argentina ... Montevideo [and] Buenos Aires, Argentina, we are almost like one place. We are different countries, but between the two ... we are very much related. So when we went away [from our countries] ... we kind of gravitate towards each other.” That “leap”changed everything, Da Silva said, and not just because they won the doubles match that day. The friend had a sister who was a sculptor exhibiting art across the state and the East Coast. When they attended one of her shows in Pennsylvania, Da Silva was amazed by what he saw: Artists weren’t peddling hobby-level crafts or the beginning etchings and ceramics in which he had been dabbling as a student at Creative Arts Workshop (CAW). They were making real money while embracing the spirit of local craft and artistry..." Click HERE to comment andread ful article.

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