What’s the prescription for a healthy arts scene?
That’s the question two local galleries answered this weekend—one implicitly and the other indirectly, but both with equal amounts of emphasis on community support and a DIY aesthetic.
On Thursday, Verge Center for the Arts kicked off its weekend-long Jumble Sale with a preview party designed to highlight the gallery’s artists and raise funds to renovate and build studio spaces.
The event cost $15 at the door—a fee well worth the chance to mingle with Verge artists such as Nathan Cordero and Amanda Cook, as well as sift through piles upon piles of cheaply priced goods. There were walls hung with art and racks and tables filled with vintage clothing, household items, crafting supplies, books and various bits of miscellany and old odds and ends.
The vibe was equal parts inspiration and reflection, and the vintage pieces in particular seemed as much to be art as the represented works.
The purpose of the sale, explained Verge executive director Liv Moe, is not just to raise money for the gallery but also its profile.
“There are a lot of people who may not attend an art fundraiser per se, but who would be jazzed about a rummage sale,” she said. “Once they’re in the door and sign up for our mailing list, they find that we do a lot of things beyond what’s traditionally thought of for an art space, like film programming and musical events—the rummage sale is like a gateway event.”
Verge’s cavernous 22,000-square-foot warehouse space, located at 625 S Street, lends a distinctly gritty urban feel to the nonprofit arts organization. Its no-frills industrial ethos creates a blank backdrop for artists—a space that’s both accommodating and motivating.
That’s crucial for a thriving arts scene. Inspired by Richard L. Nelson Gallery curator Renny Pritikin’s “Prescription for a Healthy Arts Scene” credo, Trisha Rhomberg curated a corresponding exhibition at the Bows & Arrows gallery featuring more than two dozen Sacramento-based artists, including Rhomberg and Bows co-owner Olivia Coelho, Paul Imagine, Mark Badovinac, Richard St. Ofle and Liz Donner.
A thriving art scene, Pritikin suggests, features “alternative spaces that give exhibition and residence opportunities for new art and ideas” and “events that bring people together.”
The work and events at Verge and Bows realized that latter order with fun and unpredictable takes on art and community.
Each piece in the exhibition, which launched Friday night with an opening reception, visually illustrates one of Pritikin’s art commandments. Here the art’s not just on the walls, however, it’s also affordable and wearable via T-shirts that replicate the framed art.
Prescription for a Healthy Arts Scene runs through September 1, at Bows & Arrows, located at 1815 19th Street. For more information, visit www.bowscollective.com. The Prescription T-shirts are available in the gallery and online at www.fibers.com/shop/healthy-art-scene. Buy a pre-made shirt or design your own using any of the artist images.
For more information on the Verge Center for the Arts, visit www.vergeart.com.