In 1995 Cheryl McGinnis began looking at Chinese contemporary artists. Having become entranced and excited about the work of Zhang Hongtu, Zhang Huan, Gu Wenda, Ai Wei Wei, to name a few. Neither these artists nor she wanted to be apart of the traditional gallery system. Her vision was to create a space in which the artists would be present in exhibiting their works and engage with the viewers in a conversation about the work.
Cheryl McGinnis Gallery, a contemporary salon became an exciting space in which many artist’s careers were born, nurtured and thrived. Zhang Hongtu, Emma Amos, Donna Sharret, Lin Yan, Wei Jia, Cui Fei and others. In doing so and following her vision, she was instrumental in creating the Chinese contemporary market today. As well, the salon exhibited more women artists than any other gallery or alternative space at that time. It was a great success.
Everything she has launched was and is an extension of the salon concept. Although salons are popular today, Cheryl McGinnis Gallery, a contemporary salon was one of the first to take this notion of artist’s discussing their works, studio visits for viewers and a more open and accessible space. The Flatiron Prow Art Space, Cheddar, smART stART and the salon today are all important aspects of the original vision of being a separate entity to the traditional gallery system and ‘to make art accessible to all.’