BEST ART GALLERY - 2001
Waiting Room - CLOSED
Who isn't a sucker for the dingy, illicit feel of an underground art gallery? Who doesn't get a thrill when entering a rehabilitated warehouse space where a flimsy partition hides the possessions of the gallery owners? Where a plywood floor hides the toxic ooze of the previous tenants, and where artists and various malingerers can, on any given Friday, be viewed in their native habitat? All urban artscapes worth their turpentine are replete with such spaces, and in the Twin Cities the current epitome of this archetype is the Waiting Room in northeast Minneapolis. Set in a segment of an old chair factory, the Waiting Room is very easy to miss at first glance (part and parcel of the experience, you might say). The door is tucked in the corner of the sprawling warehouse just behind a loading dock, and the space lacks decent signage or any other indication of the artistic magic to be found inside. (Good luck, too, finding a parking space if the shit-kicker bar next door happens to have a band playing.) But once you do get inside the gallery, you'll be glad you came to see the art: a motley collection of au courant conceptual work by the just-out-of-grad-school set, both local and national. What distinguishes the Waiting Room in the end is the rather high quality of the artwork they have brought in since they opened in September, including local artists Markus Lunkenheimer, Katrina Mitchell, Gerald Smith, and Bruce Tapola, from shows such as "Nothing and Everything," and "Everything Forever and Ever." But really, who looks at the artwork when there's serious mingling to be done, filterless cigs to be smoked, and wine to be drunk out of plastic cups?