Let optimism reign! 300 words by Jen Nugent


by Jen Nugent

The first art show I organized was in 2007. I was eighteen years old and running a small, bi-monthly zine complete with layout problems and typos, but also fantastic art, literature and the occasional crude joke. Digital Three Studios at the time was a small graphic design company on 6th Street and Central Avenue with an attached warehouse and a serious dedication to the support of local artists. Nick Burch generously lent my friends and I his warehouse space to have an art exhibition/zine release party/live music show/dress up party. It wasn’t until the artwork was being dropped off the day before the event, that I realized I had no clue what to do. I knew nothing about art exhibition, I simply wanted my social life to be a fun and productive one. This show was terrifying, stressful, and really really fun. Having participated in numerous exhibitions since then, I will admit it takes a lot of hard work to pull off a successful (definition subjective) show, but because of this first experience I found that it is remarkably easy to develop a support system to help make this happen.

The Clothesline Gallery opened their second exhibition last Friday in their new location with grace and great attitudes. This small storefront gallery is run by artists and art students who I must commend on their excellent work. I don’t mean to equate my first clumsy attempt at an art exhibition with the way this gallery is being run, my point is simply that these kids are fucking doing it! (I also use the word ‘kids’ here to establish that they are all under fifty, meaning no disrespect.) This group is pooling their resources and skills in order to get behind whom they believe to be first-rate artist-peers. The paintings by Evan Lovejoy (on view through May 11th) were thoroughly enjoyable and provided fuel for great conversation at the opening. I tip my hat to the motivation and dedication that has gone into this project and hope that it can serve as a reminder to all young or emerging artists that instead of criticizing the scene or complaining about a lack of one, simply create one. It takes motivation, but it’s not impossible and there is a thick history of successful DIY initiatives to draw from. Let optimism reign!

Mentioned in this piece:
Clothesline Gallery: 529 Pineapple Ave. www.clotheslinetees.com
Evan Lovejoy: www.evanlovejoyart.com