For the past decade, the Sound Gallery has served as a recording studio, rehearsal space, video set, quasi-legal show venue, art gallery, and creative hang-out anchored firmly in the midst of Minneapolis's North Loop. Now, the legendary fourth-floor warehouse loft has just a month left before its doors close forever, says owner/operator/curator Jacob Grun.
It isn't a lack of business that is forcing Grun to shutter Sound Gallery's doors, but rather simple North Loop economics. According to city records, the warehouse's new ownership is proposing to rehabilitate it into yet another “mixed use” building combining residential, commercial, and “artist studios.” With the Sound Gallery not part of that plan, Grun has been ordered to vacate by the end of July.
“Although the news may seem a little sudden, I’ve been mentally preparing for this possibility since the beginning," he wrote yesterday in a Facebook post. "Thank you to every single musician, artist, patron, and friend that has walked through those doors and been a part of the Sound Gallery experience, and thank you Minneapolis for the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Under Grun — who has performed and recorded at Sound Gallery with his band, Me and My Arrow — the space has recorded and showcased local musicians as disparate as Lizzo and Fort Wilson Riot. Nick Cave's side project Grinderman has worked with Sound Gallery, and Band of Horses' Ben Bridwell recorded his unreleased solo record there. Dig far back enough in the loft's sordid (pre-Sound Gallery) history, and you'll find evidence of numerous hard-rock and metal bands using the space, including KISS and Motley Crue.
It was the events, however, that really cemented the space's reputation as a creative epicenter. In the Sound Gallery, musicians found a place where they could organically experiment and try out new ideas. And in Grun, they found a host willing to throw his doors open so the public could be a part of it.