About the founder
Moscow-born, both classically and conceptually trained, Alexandra
Rozenman brings a canny and charming mysticism to her life, art and teaching.
Rozenman came to America from Moscow, Russia as a political refugee at
the end of the eighties, when the world was
changing its shape and purpose. In the studio she creates her personal and often
surreal world, where shapes, colors and images are often utilized like
words in a story. Living in the Soviet Union Rozenman studied in Russia
with today well-known dissident artists and was a part of Moscow
alternative cultural scene of the 1980’s.
She holds Masters degree
from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston: www.smfa.edu Beginning in
1989, her work has been represented nationally and internationally. In
2006 she was awarded a MacDowell Foundation Fellowship. Alexandra is working using art as a tool for personal growth.
She believes that a mediocre teacher tells, the good one explains and a perfect one inspires.
About the School building
From outside Art School # 99 looks like this. Many people miss is it the first time. Address is glued to the mail box. Inside the middle of the front wall, just where folded easels are packed, there is a beautiful mosaic on the floor that says: A&P.
That's right! Once upon a time this crooked building was nothing else, but blooming small local branch of Atlantic & Pacific Supermarket.
The Early Years:
In 1859, George Huntington Hartford and George Gilman entered the
mail-order tea business from a storefront and warehouse at 31 Vesey
Street in New York City. The Great American Tea Company grew steadily
over the next decade and was renamed The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea
Company in 1870.
Hartford’s sons, John and George, came into the family business in
the 1880s, the same decade that the company begain marketing its first
private label brands, including Eight O’Clock Coffee. By the turn of
the century, there were over 20 stores in the chain.
By 1939, the chain had begun to move much more decisively, operating
1100 supermarkets and closing thousands of the older “economy stores”.
Between 1936 and 1940, A&P halved its number of stores (to just
over 6000) while increasing its sales by more than half. By 1949, the
store count was down to just over 4500, while sales had skyrocketed.
The Meltdown: Through the 1950s, A&P continued to be America’s dominant
grocery retailer (and at one point, its largest retailer of any sort),
but some disturbing trends were starting to emerge. The company’s
conservative policies were not in tune with the retail boom of the
1950s, and A&P’s largely urban (and aging) store base was
concentrated in urban areas rather than the growing suburbs. This would
be a major issue for the company in the ensuing years. In addition, both John and George Hartford died in the 1950s, more
or less ending the company’s connection to its founding family, and
allowing it to go public. The Harford heirs were more concerned with
large dividends than with the grocery business, and the resulting lack
of investment initiated a period of stagnation from which A&P never
fully recovered. Neighbors say that our A&P closed around early 60's. It was empty for a while, was blocked and then rebuild into a scary-looking storage. In 1985 my partner, John Powell purchased the building and brought it back to life. Today 99-101 Franklin Street is a home of his company Light Time in Space, Art School 99 and the two of us.