An art exhibition featuring objects, both natural and manufactured, unaltered by the artist. Three pieces per artist displayed as-is with the aim of communicating to the audience the intrinsic beauty that can be found in seemingly mundane or usually overlooked objects.
Michael James Armstrong
Richard Allen Morris
Edith Baumann has been making paintings in Los Angeles for over 30 years. However, this time around she’s created an elegant site specific installation that perfectly capitalizes on the unique character of the space.
We’d love to see you on Friday, 10/3, from 6pm-9pm.
This is a piece that so perfectly personifies Thomas’ aesthetic. Rough, dirty, rustic. He’s got a great eye for materials or objects that most people would see as garbage, or at the very least wouldn’t look twice at. Old thread-worn packing blankets for example:
Or perhaps a bunch of rotting railroad ties:
And now it’s these:
You’ve probably seen these everywhere and not even noticed. As I said, In my opinion that’s Thomas’ main strength as an artist. His natural instinct to see the aesthetic value in objects and materials that are ignored by most.
“Ive been looking into tumble weeds.” – Thomas DeMello
See more installation photos HERE.
“I’m back, baby! I’m back!” – George Costanza
First of all I’d like to thank all of those that contributed financially and otherwise to help the new ICE Gallery become a reality. Sincerely, I appreciate it so much!
(In no particular order. You’re all important.)
Joan & Reuben Baron
Philipp Scholz Ritterman
I hope I didn’t leave anyone out.
In early 2013 Jim Brown offered the recently evicted ICE Gallery a chance to continue in a new space. A few months later work began on a little 400 sq ft corner of Bread & Salt that would eventually end up taking a year to complete. If I had known how much time, physical work, and most of all, money that it would take to complete the new space I doubt I would’ve taken it on. Hell, I could’ve (should’ve?) spent all that effort and money on making my own work instead of a space to show other people (of course I’ll show there as well, but still). Hey, the opportunity for a cheap space was handed to me out of the blue. In a town as expensive as San Diego that’s a hard thing to pass up.
Anyway, if you want to see the build out progression in a ton of photos go HERE. If you don’t feel like going through all of that, here are some before and after highlights.
This was the space in June of 2013
Obviously the first thing to do was clean it up.
After the initial cleanup, the first major job was getting rid of that uneven concrete slab. It took 3 guys an entire day to break up and haul away 200 sq ft of concrete due to the slab being double thick. There was an additional slab underneath the top layer which was probably about 100 years old.
Then it was onto framing
Next was skinning the inside walls with plywood and then drywall. Having plywood behind the drywall is helpful for hanging heavy objects on the walls. No need to find studs.
I also added this message behind one of the walls before I sealed it up.
Jim Brown had all the windows at the front of the building re-glazed.
Half of the ceiling had to be ripped off due to water damage. That was probably the worst job out of everything. Decades old moldy plaster and dust raining down on me for 2 days. While I was up there I framed out that square hole you see below, which was previously used for an exhaust fan, in order to turn it into a skylight.
Ok, the big construction was done so it was time to mud the drywall. There was only two jobs that I paid someone else to do for me. First was the concrete, because you’re better off with pros for that job. The second was mudding and sanding the drywall which is probably one of the worst construction jobs ever. I was more than happy to pay someone to do it for me. That guy was in there for four days mudding a ceiling and 16′ walls, plus putting 3 layers of skim coat on 2 of the walls. (By the way, if you need a good contractor, this guy and his brothers are cheap, fast, and trustworthy. I’ve worked with them many times and they’re great. Let me know and I’ll put you in touch)
On to painting.
Of course there were a ton of other little things that i didn’t really document, but you get the idea. One thing that really transformed the space was adding the skylight. The roof is pitched facing north, so the frosted glass really lets a lot of light into the room. It made a huge difference.
Oh, the last major addition was track lighting. Since the space will only be accessible for opening and closing receptions, most of the time the exhibitions will only be viewable from the front windows. So having the lights on all night for passers by to see in is imperative.
That pretty much brings us up to present day.
Again, if you want to see more shots of the transformation click HERE.
There’s still a few little things to do here and there but they’ll have to wait. What’s funny is that even after all that work, all I’m left with is an empty room. Time to fill it. There’s already some great artists lined up for the rest of the year. Much thanks to my old pal Thomas DeMello for all the help.
Back in December of 2013 Bread & Salt, the new home of ICE Gallery, had an open house to show off all the hard work that had been done in the building over the past year. ICE had just barely finished putting up drywall and was in no shape to put on a proper exhibition. However, I decided there should at least be something within the newly demarcated corner space. The end result was a sort of found object installation which utilized the old rusted bread racks from the previous tenant of the building. It was only viewable for one night, so thank goodness my pal Philipp Scholz Rittermann got some great photos of it before all the paper was ripped off and the racks went away to a scrap metal grave.
“Paper and Steel”, 2013, steel bread racks, tracing paper, glassine, custom steel light fixture
More photos HERE
On another note, the new ICE Gallery will hopefully be having it’s first exhibition the beginning of July 2014 (fingers crossed). Details coming soon.
In our last update we told about a new opportunity we’d been given. Well, here are the photos that show the results of that opportunity.
Four artists, 40,000 square feet, four installations.
Michael James Armstrong
To view A LOT more FULL SIZE photos click below to go to Michael’s Flickr page:
Ya know, just when it seems as though no one’s paying attention to you, along comes an opportunity out of the blue. Two months ago none of us knew anything about Jim Brown and his architecture firm, Public, or his newly acquired huge project, Bread & Salt. The latter being a 40,000 square foot building built in the early 20th century which was, until recently, a Weber bakery. Jim had apparently been silently paying attention to ICE Gallery and, just when we were about to be evicted from our space in North Park, offered us a spot at Bread & Salt! Wow, we’re so appreciative for the offer and the opportunity. Our new space will be much smaller, but it has a lot of potential and we’re extremely excited to get to work on it.
Not only were we offered a new space in a small corner of Bread & Salt, we were also given the opportunity to tackle the entire 40,000 sq ft building. The building is more or less still in it’s raw Weber bakery state, minus most of the heavy machinery. There’s a ton of work to do before the building is ready to be inhabited by it’s future art and design tenants. Perfect! That’s just the kind of space we hope for. It’s the kind of thing we’ve been talking about for the last few years (“Wouldn’t it be great to be offered an interesting space where you’re able to create anything you want?”) and now we’ve been given a shot.
The four of us have staked out our individual spaces throughout the building and are in the process of installing what is shaping up to be a very solid and diverse exhibition. We hope you’ll come join us and see it for yourself on Friday, February 8th, from 6-9. This one is a big deal for us and we’re anxious to show you the work plus the unique building that we’ll soon be a part of.
Thanks Jim and Isabel!
PS – check out this nice write up for the show in San Diego CityBeat