The mood was celebratory last Saturday for the opening of the "10th Anniversary Exhibition" at Rosalux Gallery. Hosted in their beautiful space in northeast Minneapolis, the show highlighted work from the gallery's current 20-member roster.
You can't help but root for them. The gallery runs on a cooperative model where the artists run the space by paying a fee and helping with different administrative tasks. In exchange, artists keep 100 percent of their own profits. The model challenges the notion that artists need a gallery owner or curator to select them for a show and to take care of the nitty gritty details of selling art. Rosalux's way of doing things gives artists both the burden of running their own space, but also the freedom.
For the current show, each of the artists have provided a statement about their work, their relationship with the cooperative, and why they choose to be with Rosalux. David Malcolm Scott says it most succinctly in his statement: "The art world is pretty whacked when it comes to getting your art seen. Having any control over how you get to show your work is a rare thing, and this is what Rosalux gives us." Other artists gushed about the positive community that the gallery offers them, including support and camaraderie. Walking through the exhibit that night, everybody seemed to be in a good mood. This is a group of artists who really act as a team.
Also, the space is gorgeous. It's a huge improvement over their last location, which was quite small and more like a commercial store. The new gallery is wide open, with high ceilings and movable walls. It offers wonderful possibilities.
The show is great, and works as a kind of "best of" for the artists, giving a taste of recent work like Terrance Payne's My Mushroom Clouds will look like flowers which was also featured in his solo show "My Apocalypse Will Be Better than Yours." The work features a bouquet of flowers that recall a mushroom cloud. The word "boom" inscribed over it, cheerfully welcoming the end times.
Also in the show are some wonderful pieces by Nick Howard (who's weird eye patch men invite you into a very strange alternative world) and Bart Vargas's Past, Present, Pink where a starburst of red-and-white collars made of latex appears on three panels. Elaine Rutherford has some wonderful mixed-media work, like a piece featuring a single-channel video loop inside of a painting on a wooden cabinet, and Valerie Jenkins distorts reality with a charcoal drawing of barbed wire that looks absolutely real until you get very close. Asia Ward's Angel Cloud is also a stunning abstract sculptural work.
Hopefully, Rosalux is here to stay now that they've made it 10 years. As a local arts-focused institution, they're a good thing to have in town.
IF YOU GO:
"10th Anniversary Exhibit" Runs through March 31
Rosalux Gallery 1400 Van Buren St. NE #195, Minneapolis Hours: Saturday and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.