New York Daily News
3 October 2007
“I don’t know what I can give this city, but I’ll do my best.”
— BY HEATHER ROBINSON
It’s Wednesday afternoon, and Shadin Hossain is surrounded by people. A friend named Joe runs in to ask if anyone wants coffee.
Alam Hossain’s brother and his co-manager of Galleria – an art and framing store in Murray Hill in Manhattan – says he will attend to the customers. Meanwhile, Hossain fields phone calls from artists who have agreed, at his request, to donate to charity a portion of the proceeds from their work.
“I’m so happy here, and so blessed,” says Hossain, 39, an immigrant from Dhaka, Bangladesh, whose big brown eyes radiate joy and energy. “I feel like, to do something for others, God gave me that opportunity.”
About a year ago, he saw a news story on TV about orphaned children in the Congo who were starving to death. Deeply disturbed, he resolved to do something. He made the largest financial contribution he could, but he wished he could do more.
One day, inspiration struck.
He conceived the idea of donating his time to plan a benefit in which artists’ work could be sold, with a percentage donated to help the children.
Unsure whether it was possible, he confided his idea to “Auntie Roxie” – one of his many friends who frequently stops by the store on Third Ave. between 35th and 36th Sts.
“I said, ‘Can I do that?'” he recalls. “My Auntie Roxie – a lady who lives on 36th St. – she said, ‘Do it!'”
Armed with his friend’s encouragement, Hossain approached Galleria’s owner, who agreed. But finding artists was a challenge, as many were hesitant to come onboard a first-time project organized by someone inexperienced.
He found his man in Marc Tetro, an Atlanta-based artist who illustrated the latest “101 Dalmatians” book for Disney, and with whom he had done business before.
“When he started talking about the events he wanted to do, I didn’t have any doubts,” says Tetro. “It’s interesting how the neighborhood and the neighbors get involved; he has that magnetism. … When Shadin calls, you can’t run and hide – he’ll find you.”
Tetro’s benefit show ran for two weeks last November at Galleria. The artist was on hand to sign his brightly colored paintings and calendars, many of which feature vibrant images of hip-looking urban dogs.
Fifty percent of the proceeds went to World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to helping families overcome poverty by addressing root causes. The first benefit, according to Hossain, raised $5,200 to help abandoned children in the Congo.
“It went toward helping them with all their needs – water, food, getting back to school, and helping them find folks who would mentor them into a more normal situation,” says George Ross, executive
director of World Vision. But Hossain was just getting started.
In June, he organized a bigger benefit. This time, numerous artists participated, and so did Hossain’s celebrity friends – author Salman Rushdie and Carson Kressley of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” That benefit, Hossain said, raised $7,200.
He couldn’t have done it without his friends and loved ones, Hossain says.
Friends Megan and Stephanie helped him prepare the space for the second benefit’s opening reception. Proudly, he shares pictures of the guests milling around the space, which is filled with the artwork of Tetro, Thomas Kinkade, whose paintings are ubiquitous in art stores and shopping malls across the U.S., and Kamrun Nahar Monee, who flew in from Bangladesh for the event, among others.
His nieces, Antora, 12, and Ohana, 8, helped prepare the food, he says.
Hossain, who came to the U.S. in 1993, is single and lives in Sunnyside, Queens. He says he feels the desire to help others so keenly because his doctor, Richard Schlussel, performed for free “extremely expensive” and lifesaving surgery on him several years ago for an adrenal gland disorder.
“He understood the situation I was in,” says Hossain, who required treatment he could not have obtained in Bangladesh. The doctor’s compassion inspires his efforts to give back, he says.
“I thank millions and billions [of times] to God for my doctor,” he adds. “Thanks to New York City, and thanks to America. I don’t know what I can give this city, but I’ll do my best to do good. I don’t have to be rich; if I can do good that will be fine with me.”
He just finished a third benefit. This time, he didn’t throw a party; he just simply donated 20% of profits from September framing jobs to World Vision.
Hossain also is planning a party and show early next year to benefit Smile Train, an international organization that provides plastic surgery to children in 71 of the world’s poorest countries born with cleft palate syndrome.
“Children who have this problem, when they talk, you can’t understand them,” he says. “If you give them an opportunity so they can talk, they can go to school and be something.”
Adds Tetro about Hossain: “These Mother Teresa types look like quiet and simple people, but to make these things happen, you can’t be a pushover.
“You see how easily [Hossain] can pull people in? There’s always someone who knows someone. I guess that’s New York, too.”
Featured on TV News
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NEW YORKER of the Week
ARTIST RAISES THOUSANDS FOR CHARITY
A local artist is going above and beyond to raise money for children in need. NY1’s Jessica Abo filed the following report
When Shadin Hossain saw a story on the news about children starving in Africa, he decided to start holding charity exhibitions in his custom framing shop, Galleria on Third, to help kids in need. Eight events later, he’s raised close to $30,000 for non-profits in New York and abroad.
“This whole thing makes me feel so healthy and happy because God gave an opportunity to do something from here. I have this small gallery, and I can do benefit art shows, and my goal is to be doing it more,” says Hossain.
Roxie Cherishian has volunteered at every benefit Shadin has held in the gallery. She says what Shadin has done locally and globally makes her proud.
“He is a special, special person. He has a passion for people. If they are handicapped in any way, his heart goes out to them. He can’t do enough,” says Cherishian.
From now through September, Shadin is selling artwork he created to help raise money for Smile Train. Over the years he’s raised $15,000 for the nonprofit and he hopes to raise another $5,000 from this exhibit.
“Smile Train is a children’s charity, and we fund money for cleft lip and cleft palette surgeries for children all around the world. He’s helped 50 children since he’s been with us and I’m sure he’s on his way to helping 50 more,” says Troy Reinhart of Smile Train.
“When they smile, it looks so ugly, so if I can help them make the beautiful smile, that makes me happy,” says Hossain.
While his exhibit “From the Heart” is on display, 50 percent of everything sold will go to Smile Train. All of the proceeds from a Smile Train piece and picture of the Chrysler Building will also go to the organization.
“He’s a small-town businessman and he could really grow and everything with revenue, but what he does is turn around and gives back,” says Reinhart.
For putting his heart where his art is to help children in New York and around the globe, Shadin Hossain is the latest New Yorker of the Week.
Small Business Reopening
MMIGRANT ENTREPRENEUR FORGES AHEAD AFTER SHUTDOWN
AFTER 21 YEARS, LOCAL ARTIST/GALLERY OWNER NOT QUITTING
New York: After a devastating shutdown, small business continue to shutter but renowned gallery, and musuem quaility framing shop. Galleria on Third, is thrilled to reopen its doors and continue its 21 years in business.
Galleria on Third owner, Shadin Hossain, will celebrate the medical first responders who continue to hold our country together throughout this crisis by offering up to 150 free certificate (framing 8 1/2”x11” projects, each valued at up to $100! For more information please visit www.galleriaonthird.com.
Located on Third Avenue between 35th and 36thStreets in Murray Hill, Galleria on Third was founded by Shadin Hossain, who immigrated to America more than 27 years ago and has built one of the city’s top framing shops and galleries.
What added to the shop’s success is a focus on giving back (or as one customer said “Shadin puts the Heart back in Art”). After seeing a disturbing report about children in poverty on CNN, he knew he had to do something, and ten years ago and he began hosting Benefit Art Shows. The goal was to raise money and awareness by selling art to benefit a variety of charities from World Vision, Smile Train, Bellevue Hospital, Clean Water Initiative and many more. His dedication to helping others garnered him the title of NY1’s NYer of the Week as well as landed him on the pages of the New York Daily News (‘I don’t know what I can give this city, but I’ll do my best’) and has helped his shop stay on top of a fluctuating market.
Ten years ago, after seeing a disturbing report on CNN about children in poverty, Shadin decided to turn his sadness into action. He began hosting benefit art shows, with the goal of raising awareness and money for a variety of charities including World Vision, Smile Train, Bellevue Hospital, Clean Water Initiative, and many more raising over $10K. Celebrities took notice including author Salman Rushdie and Carson Kressley of the original “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” which came to his benefit. Shadin was featured as New York 1 “New Yorker of the Week” and profiled in The New York Daily News.
Through the years, Galleria on Third has featured the work of up-and-coming and celebrated artists including Romero Brito, Delavega, Marc Tetro, Carson Kressley, and featured the photos of ABC entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon.
A true humanitarian with a commitment to quality work and customer service, Shadin believes these values have enabled him to stay afloat through good times and turbulent ones. In the words of one customer: “Shadin puts the heart back in art.”
In addition to their benefit work, Galleria on Third (3rd & 36th Street, NYC) has also featured the work of the up-and-coming artist as well as celebrated artists including Romero Brito, Delavega, Marc Tetro, and fashion icon and TV personality Carson Kressley and mews personality Sandy Kenyon.
“I am very blessed to have been welcomed, so many years ago, to such an amazing city. I’ve been fortunate to meet fantastic people and to have received help from New Yorkers of all backgrounds along the way. As with all small businesses, it hasn’t been easy, but I would not trade the challenge for the world. I am thankful to be in a position to help others as we look forward to another 20 years surrounded by beautiful art and wonderful people. I am thrilled to re-open our doors and honor all those who risked their lives for all of New York City.” Galleria on Third owner, Shadin Hossain