For the people, by the people. That's the motto that Gamut Gallery is excited to continue as gallery director Jade Patrick and company get ready for the first show in their new space in the Elliot Park neighborhood.
“Inclusiveness is a huge a part of our idea and our identity,” says Garner. “And we wanna be warm and welcoming to people that come through the door.”
After being given notice that Gamut would have to move out of their original downtown Minneapolis space in the historic Handicraft Guild Building, the search was on for another home. But it couldn't simply be any space. Just like Goldilocks and those beds, it had to feel just right.
“We wanted a place that had character, something that had a story,” says Patrick.
They looked at newer spaces, which were nice, but lacked the welcoming, lived-in vibe that's vital to the gallery's mission. Eventually they came across the right location, a former soup kitchen built in the 1920s, that had been vacant for a decade. Gamut decided to call it home.
“This place has been owned by the same family for 30 years,” Patrick says, adding that they were “very personable people to work with.”
While they loved their previous space, this one has many upgrades. The north side of the gallery has floor-to-ceiling windows wall-to-wall, which lets in indirect natural light. The south side has its share of windows, too. The walls are newly sheet-rocked, and there's real hardwood floors, which is a big upgrade from the previous space.
“Every time the seasons changed and the humidity either swelled or retracted, our floors would bubble,” Patrick recalls. “We would come through with a staple gun and just staple things down and hope people didn't notice. So that won't happen here.”
During the planning process, they considered adding certain features, like a cafe and a store to buy art. It was something they ultimately decided against. After some research they realized it would take away from the main reason they started the gallery in the first place: the art.
“Ultimately what that research let us know was that doing Gamut just the way we've been doing Gamut is really the best,” she explains. “It allows us to be the most adaptable, and be able to follow the whim of what we find inspiring, and be focused on the art. Period.”
That focus will continue on Saturday with a reception for "Fluidity," a one-week-only solo exhibit by visual artist Yuya Negishi, a favorite among the arts community. His recent efforts have included helping to make downtown's massive Bob Dylan mural, and creating an interactive mural at the Walker Art Center.
“So many people are excited to see him succeed, because of how warm and kind and engaging he is,” she says.
He also lives his life and creates his art in a go-with-the-flow spirit. “There's a lot of continuity in our general philosophy about life that overlaps with his,” Patrick adds.
Negishi has a massive body of work which Gamut was able to choose from for the show. "Fluidity" includes paper cranes, works on wood, paintings with neon koi, and large-scale murals.
“He's creating all the time,” Patrick says.
Outside will be a temporary mandala by installation artist Krista Beier. Guests will have to walk through the piece to get closer to the flames. People may be hesitant to interrupt the art, but it's all part of the theme of the night: fluidity and rolling with the flow. The patterns will actually change as people interact with them.
“Things change, unexpected things happen, and that's part of life,” Patrick says. “And this exhibit is about celebrating that.”
As for other upcoming happenings CoLab, where creatives get together and make art, is also returning. It was those nights that created the original spark for Gamut. It will be held on the third Thursday of every month, and will include a featured artist who will do a demonstration or two.
After Thanksgiving, Gamut will hold its fifth annual holiday pop-up shop, Raging Art-on, from December 10-13. The walls will be covered in art, and music will be featured throughout the event.
IF YOU GO:
Yuya Negishi: "Fluidity"
7-11 p.m. Saturday, November 14
717 S. 10th St., Minneapolis; 612-293-6497