Know Thyself

The Oracle Club was an experimental project launched by artist Jenna Gribbon and writer Julian Tepper in December of 2011 in a storefront space below their home in Long Island City, Queens. Shortly thereafter the couple enlisted the talents of Matthew Gribbon, Jenna’s husband emeritus, to be the librarian and third partner in the endeavor. The club closed in March 2017.

TOC was created to be an oasis in New York City, providing space for various needs of artists and writers. The interior was an artwork of Jenna Gribbon. The floors and walls were painted, and over the course of the club’s existence she populated the walls with paintings from her series "In Conversation", figurative works of friends engaged in speaking and listening, which were intended to enshrine conversation as a key objective and priority of the space. Talking, however, was forbidden during work hours in the quiet sanctuary of the library, where Matthew’s extensive and carefully chosen collection of books filled the shelves, and selections were artfully arranged to foster discovery. Official members had keys, and most of them came predominantly to work. Many books, poems, plays, and articles were written in the place, including two novels published by Julian. There were art studios on the lower floor where Jenna and several other artist members worked over the course of the 5 years. Beyond this, from political organizing hub, to place to lay on the floor listening to records and talk, TOC was many things to many people. The club was known for its lively gathering of groups like Oracle Poetry Club, Feminist Book Club, Collage with Caris, and Oracle Action Club. There were readings, dozens of musical performances, books were launched, parties were thrown for close friends, and collaborations were born.

Many thanks to everyone walked through the doors of The Oracle Club, and contributed to its vibrancy.

The club’s Facebook and Instagram pages are still active.