The Dia De Los Muertos parade would of made my Friday full, but I was finally home and able to check out a joint show at two local galleries I haven't been to yet. nAbr gallery & Small Space had a joint opening for "OOOOO GHOOST $HOW" featuring 20+ artists all listed only by first name on all the event information:
Beata K, Beata C, Amelia T, Sara C, Ashley J, Tim S, Lydia J, Alec R, Ian S, Tyler R, Ben M, Mike S, Jeff M, Sam F, Neil G, Ollie S, Carly H, Bradly , Patrick S, Johnny K, Cody F, Rudy M, Jade W, John R, Stevie K , Khynh P, Anna P, Max S, Sam J, Waldek D, Tricia B, Nicholas N
Video promo by Oliver Sweet
nAbr [not a bedroom] gallery is located in the attic of curator Ashley Janke's house. My favorite thing is a productive space made where it's not supposed to be, so I knew I was going to be partial when I started walking up 2 flights of stairs into a dark attic full of faceless people. It was sort of intimidating, but exciting. The unfinished attic space has a lovely screening area for projecting video work with assorted chairs and couches. I sat for a few of the featured videos, honestly my attention for expiermental film is short. What I saw way "ghosty" and fit the theme of the show, I only remember seeing Xav Leplae's name since he's an old acquaintance (it was too dark to write anything down).
nabr Gallery: Milwaukee">
nabr Gallery: Milwaukee">
The attic space also featured a tiny finished back room gallery that had about 6-9 pieces hung. In the dark, by candle light, I found a pile of foil stamped prints that I assumed were the work of Douglas Ruschhaupt but I was corrected by Ashley told me they were pieces by Oliver Sweet. I picked out a florescent yellow and sparkly gold mummy print for $5 and made my way to small space with the help of their provided map:
Small Space is a collaboratively run space that my current intern from MIAD Sara Caron is associated with. I was excited to see what the second half of the show was going to have in store. If I'm not mistaken Small Space is in the old Lucky Star Gallery space from 8+ years ago, or maybe that was next door. Either way I was pleased to see something creative happening in that building that always seems underused on the corner of Holten & Center St. in Riverwest.
Small Space had the majority of the wall based work on display. Again, the gallery was dark only lit by a few select lights and the awesome flashlight spots they had constructed for the show. There was a checklist available but in the light and with the amount of people hanging out I couldn't really get a grasp on who's work was who's, so I've posted a few photos without credit (feel free to pop in a name on flickr in the comments).
Overall, I think an open call group show is pretty challenging to maintain the quality of work. It can be a struggle for the gallerist to hang too. With that said, OOOO GHOOST $HOW was an enjoyable visit in both locations. I was excited to see new places of positive creative growth, plus I am a fan of both Halloween events & themed art shows.
I've curated a handful of themed shows in the past myself. My two favorite being the "Sock Monkey Show" at my first tiny gallery space Flying Fish Gallery and "Queen of Hearts" at Paper Boat Gallery which was right down the street from my current space. Both extremely huge learning experiences for me with working with artists and getting the show to hang in a way that looked good.
It was weird to go to two art openings in a row and to only recognize a few people. It's a sign that I need to force myself to keep going East for events even if I'm too worn out from traveling or my own projects. I don't want to be one of those people who gets older and doesn't stay in touch with what rad stuff is underneath my nose in a city I've very much creatively invested myself in. In turn, I hope to see some of those faces over on the South Side.
Note to self: make yourself go and support local events.