CROTON FALLS, N.Y. – Lift Trucks Gallery in Croton Falls is keeping up with life on the go in the 21st century. We already have drive-in restaurants, drive-up banking, drive-through car washes and drive-around drug stores. Now gallery owner Tom Christopher has given us a drive-by art gallery.
Christopher and curator Pam Hart were standing in the gallery one afternoon, watching cars pass by, most en route to the train station or nearby highways. “These are the stress hours,” says Christopher. “Nobody has time to get out of the car and come in. So we brought the show to the cars.”
The drive-by visit has many advantages, he said. “You don’t have to meet any ‘interesting’ artists, you don’t have to make small talk at a wine and cheese opening.” It is like going to a drive-in movie. “You can see the whole thing from the comfort of your car.” You can also see yourself on a storefront TV, so you become part of the show.
The premiere show in the Lift Trucks Gallery window, also known as The Drive By Gallery, is “The American Shoeshine Box.” Shoeshine boxes flourished during the Depression era, when one out of four people was out of work, said Christopher.
“It was a great equalizer. Everyone was in the business: Irish, Italian, white, black, rich, poor,” he said. “The people who stopped for a shine were from all walks of life. It was like getting a mini-massage. Most shoeshines cost five cents. Some were 10 cents, maybe because they’d size you up when you came along.”
“It’s a form of folk art,” he said. “Many of them are handpainted. The box was a reflection of its owner.” In fact, the boxes are so interesting you might consider parking your car and going over to examine them up close.
The Truck Lifts Gallery is at 3 E. Cross St. in Croton Falls. For more information, go to www.ltproject.com