The evening was glowing.
“It’s thrilling to celebrate UGallery’s 10th year in business,” said Alex Farkas, Gallery Directer and Co-Founder.
There are no words to adequately describe the charmed, vivacious energy on the terrace rooftop that night. But as artist, Sheila Finch, shared with me afterwards, “it was a truly magical, fun evening and a perfect way to celebrate.”
The festivities were held in Jackson Square – a historical area of San Francisco’s financial district.
“Just getting to the party was fun, walking the same streets as Mark Twain, at the edge of the Barbary Coast, with a sense of the Gold Rush,” UGallery artist, James Hartman remarked.
Our office is located on Gold Street.
Working on Gold Street was especially meaningful on an evening like that of the party. Gold Street – in name and in history – is one of the city’s beautiful, glittering reminders of the of the Gold Rush optimism that first built San Francisco. Our street shined especially bright on this occasion, because we were celebrating our own growth.
As guests took the elevator ride to the top floor where the celebration awaited, delightful literalized, the “building from the ground up” origin story of UGallery.
But an elevator ride, is a smooth, easy progression. Growing a start-up is not.
From its earliest days as a college business project, UGallery has been through a wild variety of office spaces, but none quite like the new space on Gold.
The party was decked with festive decorations. The shimmery paper, the flashes of cameras, the sparkling wineglasses – everything seemed to give the evening its enchanting glow.
I was humbled by the words I heard from some of our guests. Words such as, “I felt so honored to celebrate” or “it had a happy, fun vibe,” or “there was a definite sense of community and conviviality, like meeting up with old friends.”
On three separate occasions, three separate party goers called the evening “magical.” Which is the sort of word you begin to believe on the night like the night of the party.
But the truth is, there were so many who were behind this evening’s magic.
There was Seth Couture and Sheila Finch who worked on paintings on the rooftop for everyone to watch. There was Alex Ember who took lovely photographs of the party. There were several other artists who shared and generated new ideas. And, there were the guests who filled the evening with insightful and creative conversation.
Kajal Zaveri, a UGallery artist, even said, “It was a great birthday party…hanging out with some very cool, talented people while enjoying awesome food, wine and of course, great art.” Adding that he “can’t wait for the next invite.”
In addition to the food, drinks, conversation, and painting, party goers enjoyed a photobooth with a wide arrange of accessories.
Amid the fun and festivities, our founders were struck with immense gratitude.
“I’ve thought a lot about all of the people that supported us along the way. Our friends and family who were our first artists and customers. Our parents who have cheered us on since day one and still advise us on everything from curating to legal work. And our girlfriends and wives who are endlessly encouraging and helpful,” said Alex Farkas, Gallery Director and Curator.
On a night like that of the party, it is rather difficult to picture the day that UGallery’s was just an idea that flickered in the minds of three college students.
But, perhaps, the beauty is that the inverse is also true.
That, in that first flicker in 2006, who would have known, that a decade later, they, with a rooftop full of friends and family would gather all together to celebrate UGallery’s 10th birthday.