Thursday, January 8, 2009

Verge grand opening TONIGHT in Sacramento

The Verge Gallery and Studio Project in Sacramento is hosting a grand opening party tonight (Thursday, January 8), and everyone is invited!

This month the gallery is featuring the work of Stephen Kaltenbach. You can view the official invitation at

Verge is the brainchild of Jesse Powell, a 28-year-old local software and internet entrepreneur. In the summer of 2007, Jesse leased the big, blue ex-Napa Auto Parts warehouse on the corner of 19th and V Streets in Sacramento and sent out a call for area artists to apply for free studio space. (Free studio space!! Many didn’t apply simply because they couldn’t believe it.) Jesse’s idea was to provide a place for a vibrant artist community to grow and thrive. He envisioned all of the arts coming together in this one space—visual and literary arts, dance, music, film, fashion—and the artists having the freedom to form collaborations or work solo.

Despite seemingly endless (and expensive) legal hurdles, Jesse’s vision gradually took shape. He worked with local artist Gale Hart to design not only studio spaces, but also a large gallery/performance space. Over the course of the past year and a half, the empty warehouse has been transformed into an extraordinary creative space housing a gallery and studios for about 20 artists. So far, at least 16 of them have started working here (see list below), and the public will have the unusual chance to visit these artists’ studios during the grand opening:

Omar Thor Arason (painter)
Rich Baumhofer (custom wood worker)
John Stuart Berger (painter)
Mitra Fabian (sculptor and installation artist)
Gioia Fonda (mixed media artist)
Ianna Frisby (ceramic artist)
Xico Gonzalez (multi-media artist)
Karen Horiuchi (fashion designer)
Michael King (illustrator)
Lisa Marasso (sculptor and installation artist)
Patrick Marasso (painter)
Jeremiah Mayhew (video artist)
Liv Moe (multi-media artist)
Natalie Rishe (multi-media artist)
Daniel Soto (wire artist)
Ramona Soto (mixed media artist)

When you visit, you’ll see that some areas are still under construction, but the artists are busy nestling into their creative spaces and getting ready to work.


Just a note: Even though this is our grand opening, the gallery at Verge has hosted several shows, including the amazing Circus Show in September. In addition to all the spectacular art (sales of which benefited an animal rights organization), there were carnival games and even a parade.

The Circus Show hinted at the kinds of events possible at Verge. It's a huge space, and it can be adapted for all kinds of uses. Right from the start, Jesse envisioned everything from art exhibits to film showings to fashion shows.

See more Circus Show pictures here:

Stay tuned as Verge grows and changes!

You can find a few more early Verge pictures on its Facebook page.

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