Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More Ghost Galleries Popping Up Around the Country

About five weeks ago I wrote about the Phantom Gallery projects that are happening in Wisconsin. Artists were being invited to submit proposals to utilize the empty spaces of abandoned businesses in six Wisconsin cities in an effort to help keep downtowns vibrant, and a bit of commerce happening for the artists as well.

This morning I noticed this story about a similar project in La Salle, Illinois.

An artists' group is bringing more color to the canvas of downtown La Salle.

North Central Illinois ARTworks, a group of about 50 artists from the La Salle County area, is working to establish a "phantom" gallery in the two-story Blakely Building, 701 First St., across from Manahan Centre, home of Stage 212.

A phantom gallery is one in which art is exhibited, but without staff on duty. In this case, art will be displayed in windows, with contact information posted. The opening is set for 5:15 p.m. Friday, July 29.

Yesterday I visited one of several spaces with Phantom Galleries here in Superior, WI. Essentially it looks like an umanned (and unwomanned, too) art gallery with paintings in the window and paintings on the walls. The work I saw made me desirous to step inside, but the door was locked, which means I will be looking for an announcement about an art night or art opening soon.

Jeredt Runions, whose work has been receiving a great deal of recognition lately here in the Twin Ports, also has a space in Superior, at 1215 Tower Avenue. I will check it out today and post something for you. Jeredt's whimsical work has captured a lot of attention, but even more importantly, he has been exceedingly active behind the scenes to bring art out of the back rooms and into public view where it can be better appreciated.

Meanwhile, the Red Interactive project, conceived by John Heino and myself, is slated for the second round in Superior's Phantom Gallery roll-out. We have currently had artists from three continents and eight countries contribute to our online gallery on Facebook, and we're looking for more.

Feel free to join us. Visit our growing Red Interactive community on Facebook. "Like" us, and follow along as the project builds momentum. Even we're not completely certain where it is going. There may be a Red flash mob at our opening. There may be red fireworks. There may be a red carpet for that red letter day. And there most certainly will be some red wine.

John and I truly want you to be part of it, which means this can go in truly unexpected directions. What does red mean to you?

Here's where you can read more about the La Salle Ghost Gallery.

The two paintings on this page are recent portraits by Ennyman.

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