Waiting Room Finds a Home at Loring Corners

Peter Happel Christian, Black Eye Maple

Peter Happel Christian, Black Eye Maple

What was going to be a short-term pop-up gallery has turned into an ongoing exhibition space, thanks to the work of artist Jehra Patrick and a landlord willing to take a chance on art as an investment. Waiting Room, which opened its doors in October, hosts its second exhibition starting this Friday. Titled "Center of Gravity," the show features work by Alyssa Baguss, Eric William Carroll, Peter Happel Christian, and Paula McCartney.

As an artist, Patrick has always been interested in having a platform that's an extension of her practice. Waiting Room is simply the latest extension. Guided by the universal curator's question, "What can I do to fill a white room?," Patrick hopes the space can serve as a call to action for artists to no longer be passive and to show their work. 

Waiting Room project didn't come together until Patrick received a Next Step grant, which is funded by the McKnight foundation through the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. As part of her proposal, Patrick agreed to self-present a show as the last step of the grant. Originally, she had proposed to showcase her work in a storefront. But in her process of trying to locate a space, Patrick faced difficulty. A lot of the commercial spaces she approached simply said, "No, thank you" to the idea of giving Patrick a short-term lease. 

Eventually, she made a connection with Joe Whitney, who owns Loring Corners, where Bar Lurcat is located. (It's also the former home of the bohemian hotspot the Loring Café.) Patrick says Whitney was receptive to having an artist exhibition space in the building, so they worked out a deal where Loring Corners would underwrite Waiting Room's overhead costs in exchange for a percentage of sales. This isn't the first time Whitney has invested in start-up culture. In the 2000s, he offered a similar deal for tech companies. 

Waiting Room opened on October 17, and Patrick debuted the work she created during her grant year for Next Step. "Center of Gravity" will be the second show, and includes four artists who are responding to natural surroundings and daily phenomena. The artists are all people who Patrick has followed over the years.

"I have a mental curatorial list as far as people whose work I enjoy," she says. This includes artists who touch on topics and themes she sees in the community that are also echoed in larger national movements. 

The four artists all complement one another, not only in their interests, but in their use of formal trends. For the artists working in photography, there's a common employment of post-photographic techniques, such as staging photos or using appropriated images and computer processes. 

The opening-night reception will include a performance by Eric William Carroll, who has a history of playing in punk bands. While what he will actually be doing is largely a secret, we do know that it will involve him playing guitar, the audience will be wearing name tags, and Patrick will be giving instructions.  

For the rest of the year, Patrick hopes to continue to host curated shows, either with just one artist or multiple people. "We'll likely do shows that are conceptually driven," she says, and this will possibly include shows that are more in tune with artists critiquing art. 


"Center of Gravity"

The opening reception will be held on Friday, December 12, from 7 to 10 p.m. Eric William's performance, a preview of his work G.U.T. Feeling v3, debuts at 9 p.m.

Waiting Room encourages using the alley entrance, located off of Harmon Avenue, between Lurcat and Lunalux.

Through January 17, 2015