The TL;DR: Dear Reader, I need you to do something for me.
I don’t ask for much. I don’t show you ads. I bring the scoop as hard and fast as I can.
I need you to share the shit out of the Tri-City Stopgap Pop-up Art Exhibition.
What: 64 artists showing work in a former candy factory
When: Oct 25 to Nov 1, 4:30 to 8:30pm
Reception/Totally Awesome Party: Nov 1, 7pm
Where: 151 Weber St S. Waterloo (map link: https://goo.gl/maps/ynMmS)
Really where: go all the way down the left side of the building all the way to the back
Park: some parking in the lot at 151, tons on Roger St (take the stairs up to 151)
Transit: It’s on the #4 GRT bus route, jump out at stop 2466 (at Roger and Weber)
Who: Tri-City Stopgap artist collective (Mike Ambedian, Nadine Badran, Sheila McMath
Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-572-9751
The ever-arts-lovin’ Martin DeGroot wrote up this show in The Record.
For all the tens of thousands of dollars spent on cultural studies, consultations, administration, and WTF in WR, this show by artists for artists was put together with an extremely modest grant (I’m guessing <$1000) from Waterloo Region Arts Fund and free use of the space by property owner Robert Baxtor. Almost all of that money is going to insurance. There was no fee for artists to participate. There is no percentage for the house if artists sell work. There was no jury or theme. Inclusive. Politicians, candidates, municipal govt staff, and citizens of WR take note: this is *exactly* how we build out our cultural ecosystem in a cost-effective, progressive, and kickass way. GSD! If you want to support this kind of cool stuff, show up and bring four friends. And spread the word about this show.
I got over to the venue Thursday night with Brohemus and our pal Melissa Doherty. They were both delivering their ginormous paintings to the show with the truck Dave borrowed from work and I tagged along with a camera and a big bag of curiosity.
In speaking with organizers Mike Ambedian and Nadine Badran, I asked them what success will look like the day after the show closes. They both said the show was already successful considering 64 artists signed up with only 2 weeks notice. They jokingly worried that they might have been sitting alone in a giant warehouse. Hanging out and shooting for a couple of hours, the strong network of artists who all know each other through no more than one degree of separation was obvious and delightful. My last two questions to Mike and Nadine were: what do you need and how can I help? Answers:
They need people to come see the show, and especially the Nov 1 closing party when there will be performance art, drinks, and a large crowd.
Ok, now on to the well-beyond-reasonable number of photos from the show setup…
Melissa’s 5-foot-square paintings have feet.
Brohemus and The Pumpkin.
Former Taylor & Grant candy factory. You wouldn’t know it from Weber St, but this place is enormous.
Somebody buildin’ something, and that somebody is…
Mr. Greg Kirch, whose beautiful painting I look at on my kitchen wall every morning while eating my cereal.
I can’t remember what Melissa calls this series. I call them portals because I feel I can fall right into them like a dream.
Organizer Mike Ambedian.
Shot from behind a candy-containment curtain.
Greg was building a sculptural canvas that he intended to paint on-site on Friday. Go dude!
Candy remnants make for sticky floors. Sweet, but do not lick.
Got a little meta with…
artist Phil Irish.
I love this claw especially.
Brojie has a space just to the right as you walk in the door. You’ll see it. He took off in the truck to grab his giant 8-foot canvases and I happily hung around shooting and chatting.
Hey, Lauren Judge’s work.
I dig these. There’s a whole series in one of the front rooms.
Mike, Greg, and Nadine.
These yarn wrapped structures were trippy and made me dial my depth of field way down.
The place is huge, and there are just more and more rooms, some of which are off limits for the show.
Back to work for Greg.
A building this relatively clean and…
equipped with air lines and…
lots of power would make a fantastic maker/artist space.
Nadine showed us…
this cavernous space at the back of the building. It won’t be used at the request of the building owner. He has a tenant moving in on Nov 3, so the entire show must vacate a week earlier than originally planned and immediately on Nov 2 the day after the party. I guess more art would take longer to move out, but look at those windows! Studio! Shop!
You shall not pass!
Evidence of Human Life.
Some performance pieces are out in the middle of the floor, hence tape markers.
Behind that blue roll-up curtain door there will be a blacked-out room where work is revealed momentarily and intermittently with flickering lights.
Vascular system of the floor.
Hey, Michelle Purchase’s work. *Love* these prints.
The master plan.
I am intrigued.
Meet me in the Chocolate Room.
I wandered outside for air and to see the neighbourhood.
Looks like the Chrysler dealer across the road is parking vans here. Or 30 artists all bought the same van.
You will definitely want to park on Roger Street for the big bash on Nov 1. Probably only parking here for 20 cars.
Happily there are handy stairs up from Roger Street, so you don’t have to wind around the front to Weber. Tons o’ parking on Roger.
The art just kept coming.
Keep going down the left side, past that loading dock and further back.
Looks like this out front…
with this misleading sign on the lawn.
Chrysler(?) dealer across the street.
Looking down Weber toward Kitchener.
Go here. Got it?
inside. Hey, Dave White’s paintings!
Like all organizers of anything, I reckon Mike and Nadine have been running ragged.
Dave tried to bless me or something…
before hanging his work.
Mike has been getting all manner of calls on the Tri-City Stopgap phone.
Nadine, who works at C2G2 with co-organizer Sheila McMath, was thinking that it would be good to have a cot on-site for naps.
I know this work. Just don’t recall from where.
Oh the candy business.
I couldn’t help myself from repeatedly shooting Greg through these low windows all night.
I assume production lines must have run between rooms through here.
Double-double and a flaming god.
I said: SCREW IT!
I have this new thing as I’m out on shoots: I think the ceiling of any sufficiently interesting building serves as a fingerprint for the building. All the pipes, conduit, HVAC are the whorls, loops, and arches. Fascinating.
Just what do you think you’re doing, Dave?
I don’t think I’m helping.
Dammit! Caught by Meta-Mel.
As hard as I tried, I did not find a single piece of candy in this joint.
This is my nod to the late photographer Lynne Cohen. Attempt to understand through doing.
Get to this show, y’all. Bring your friends. Buy art. Repeat.