Art of K Street
A young female enters a very busy Temple Fine Coffee and Tea wearing skinny jeans, a purple tank top and a hat that likely only she could pull off. So it’s immediately obvious that this woman, Nicoletta Rousseva, manager, buyer and gallery curator of downtown boutique Artifacts, is the woman I’m supposed to meet for this interview. Sipping hot cappuccinos on a cold day, Rousseva and I go over her day-to-day at Artifacts. Barring interruption by mutual friends or panhandlers—plenty of both—Rousseva discusses the store, fashion and the gallery. Rousseva’s passion and dedication are undeniable. Here’s what she had to say.
Are you an artist? How’d you get into art and fashion?
Well, I guess art has always been a part of my life. Ever since I was little, I’ve been drawing, and I always knew that art history is what I wanted to do.
Is that what you’re studying?
Yeah. I’m going to school at UC Davis. I’m actually graduating this quarter.
I’m really excited.
What’s your emphasis?
Essentially, art criticism and theory. So a lot of 20th-century, contemporary art. So that’s my background, why I do what I’m doing.
So now what will you be doing, then, now that you’re done?
Um … I’m leaving the country (laughs). All my family’s from Bulgaria, so I’m going to go hang out with them.
If someone comes into Artifacts for one thing, what would you recommend?
If it was a woman … let’s see, what am I into? Oh, you know what I absolutely love right now? Short dresses. Like this one over here, it’s super easy, and for whatever reason, they’re just really easy and really comfortable. … I just love the look of girls in men’s clothes, and these have a kind of androgynous feel but are really sexy.
What has been themost exciting thing to happen to you as a buyer and gallery curator?
Having Shepard Fairey’s Obey line was huge, but even greater was hanging his art in our gallery.
Artifacts is unlike most downtown boutiques. What do you think sets you apart?
I think it would be that our store is a creative outlet through fashion and art. We are passionate about brining a more contemporary vibe and culture to Sacramento. We get tired of hearing people say they are going to San Francisco to go shopping.
Do you think you guys will open another store?
We would like to. Artifacts has only technically been open for a year, so we are waiting for this store to really kick off.
Tell me about April’s artist.
Jessica Murrieta … went to study fashion design at the Art Institute of California, San Francisco, but she found herself more intrigued with sketching than anything else. Her gallery is titled A Dangerous Allure and will be held at Artifacts until May 2. Her art is inspired by slasher films, fashion and the female form, and done mostly in watercolor.
What will the month of May bring?
I am actually not positive about May as of this date, but I am really excited about June. This show is my baby! The exhibition is titled Communication and is modeled after art events of the 1960s, particularly the happenings of artists like Allan Kaprow.
Artists will include typographers, graffiti and street artists renowned on both a local and national scale. [And] throughout the exhibition, visitors to the shop are invited and welcome to rearrange the artists’ words along the walls, spelling out their own phrases, sentences and personal thoughts.
Most people on Second Saturdays are on the prowl for an art gallery with a nice reception. What are yours like?
We start our receptions a little later, thinking people will wander over here after checking out the heart of Second Saturday. The reception goes from 7 to 10 p.m. We have music, beer, wine and food. We invite all of our friends and have a great time hanging out.
What has been your favorite exhibition so far?
So far it has been Amanda Lopez’s gallery. Her photography was amazing, and I just loved how much support she got from her family and friends.
Do you prefer showing only local artists?
We are actually looking to bring artists from elsewhere. We want to bring a big-city feel to the gallery and to Sacramento.