In 2011, curator Hilary Schaffner, and artist, Ryan Wallace, founded Halsey McKay Gallery with the goal to bring inspired contemporary art to East Hampton, New York. By locating the gallery in East Hampton, Schaffner and Wallace saw a unique opportunity to contribute to the extensive artistic history of the town from William Meritt Chase to the Abstract Expressionists to today’s arts community. Schaffner and Wallace named the gallery Halsey McKay after their respective maternal grandmothers’ maiden names.
From the first exhibition, There is an Ocean, highlighting the work of painter Patrick Brennan, Halsey McKay Gallery has presented an eclectic and experimental range of artists and programming. The gallery features a strong roster of emerging and mid-career artists and currently represents: Glen Baldridge, Timothy Bergstrom, Colby Bird, Ben Blatt, Patrick Brennan, Chris Duncan, Arielle Falk, Elise Ferguson, Rachel Foullon, Ted Gahl, Bryan Graf, Joseph Hart, Matt Kenny, Denise Kupferschmidt, Lauren Luloff, Hilary Pecis, and Matt Rich. Halsey McKay also showcases inventive and exciting group shows including guest curated exhibitions and participates extensively in art fairs. Further emphasizing the gallery’s support of East Hampton’s artistic legacy, the gallery also hosts off-site installations and projects at locations such as the Elaine de Kooning House.
HILARY SCHAFFNER is the co-founder and co-director of the Halsey McKay Gallery. Born in New York City and currently living in Brooklyn, Schaffner opened Halsey McKay Gallery with strong personal and historical ties to the local East Hampton community. Spending her summers throughout her life in East Hampton, Schaffner is the twelfth generation of the well-known Halsey family, which was one of the first families to settle in Southampton from England in the 1600s. A curator and an artist, Schaffner graduated from the School of Visual Arts, New York with a MFA in Photography, Video and Related Media. Pursuing work as a curator while still in graduate school, Schaffner served as the Director of the gallery at the Wild Project, an eco-friendly and multidisciplinary arts venue in New York’s East Village. She also previously worked at several notable galleries such as the Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York. In addition to her directorial position at the Wild Project, Schaffner is also an independent curator, organizing exhibitions at galleries such as P•P•O•W Gallery, New York and Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York. In 2010’s Young Curators, New Ideas III at P•P•O•W Gallery, Schaffner was selected to contribute with a group of emerging curators by co-curating a solo exhibition of Bryan Graf’s art. Along with the public recognition of Halsey McKay Gallery, Schaffner’s curatorial work has been featured in various publications including Elle Magazine, Daily Serving and ArtSlant, among others.
RYAN WALLACE is the co-founder and co-director of the Halsey McKay Gallery, as well as a multimedia artist and curator. Born in New York City, Wallace currently lives and works in both Brooklyn and East Hampton. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Wallace has exhibited internationally at galleries, museums and other cultural institutions. He has been featured in solo exhibitions at galleries including the Susan Inglett Gallery, New York; Romer Young Gallery, San Francisco; Cooper Cole, Toronto. Wallace has also shown extensively in group exhibitions in both galleries and museums such as Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington DC; Marjorie Barrick Museum, UNLV, Nevada; Islip Art Museum, Islip, New York; and the PIMA Air & Space Museum, Tucson, AZ. Wallace has been featured in numerous publications including ARTFORUM, Art in America, ARTNews, New York Magazine, Village Voice, Modern Painters, NY Arts Magazine and Hamptons Magazine, among others. Awarded the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant in 2011, Wallace’s art is held in many prominent collections including the The RISD Museum, Providence Rhode Island, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Washington DC; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Watermill Center, Watermill, NY and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. In addition to his work as an artist, Wallace has also curated several exhibitions in international galleries.