I am truly enjoying the Art Microhubs Tumblr resource project Willa Koerner and I are working on. We’re asking people to contribute information about the smaller-scale art and culture spaces that are important in their communities, wherever they are, and some fantastic submissions have been posting in. I’m going to highlight some of these on Open Space every few days; we’re thinking to broadcast an online roundtable conversation with people we meet via the project later this year. Participate! Tell us about the space you run, visit, love …
What’s it called, and where is it? NLS is in Kingston, Jamaica.
Who goes there? Visual artists of all types (video artists, filmmakers, painters, sound artists, sculptors), writers, and art lovers.
How does it work? 1. We hand over the exhibition space at no cost to an artist-in-residence for nine weeks to make work, and we crowdsource their stipend.
2. We mount exhibitions in the space of work we think is really exciting, and we do this while screening experimental films in the yard (our garden theatre).
3. We have a 48-hour residency where an artist has 48 hours to interact with the space and manifest a performative art project.
4. We rent the space for 1- to 2-month periods to independent artists that want to develop their art and studio practice, or mount an independent project.
Why is it important? NLS is important because it provides a unique platform for experimentation and public engagement in contemporary visual art through subsidized studio space rental, artist residency programs, experimental exhibitions, as well as a philosophy of open access and collaboration. NLS is the first nonprofit organization to have such a mission in Jamaica, and we do this with 200 square feet of indoor space and 600 square feet of outdoor space.
What’s it called, and where is it? The Gillmore Gallery is inside of the Peacham Library, which is located in Peacham, Vermont (population 665).
Who goes there? Mostly Peacham residents, and their friends, and people passing through the town.
How does it work? If you want a show, you ask for one. You can request a show on the gallery’s website.
Why is it important? In a tiny town, there’s not always a lot going on with the arts. Our town library and gallery help to get people out of their own private fogs and look at what other people are doing. It motivates more people from our small town to put their art out there. Showing your artwork can help you work harder, and to feel more courageous.
What’s it called, and where is it? Rock Bar. It is a bar, and it is located in San Francisco. The bar program is directed by artist and curator Brion Nuda Rosch.
Who goes there? Neighbors and intellectuals. Artists and non-artists.
How does it work? It’s a bar. It works like a bar. You stop by for a drink. You talk. You play songs from the Aquarius Records–curated jukebox. You talk more. You watch films played silently on Wednesdays. You put peanut butter on your ankles, and Jaws I, II, III, and IV are playing on the flat screen TV’s; the sound when Jaws is about to attack is heard, and the neighbor’s dog licks your ankle; you jump from your seat and spill your properly made Old Fashioned. You are part of a happening.
Why is it important? Because talking about art with only artists is boring. And experiencing art only in art spaces is also boring. A place to meet and gather. A place for a happening.