ICE Gallery is back!

“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

Edith Baumann

Jack Brogan

Amanda Durbin

Christina Hendershaw

Harmony Murphy

Jeannie Armstrong

Liane Armstrong

Jenna Siman

Juan Villescas

Kinsee Morlan

Seth combs

Mathew Simms

Jon Hall

Pamela Putian

Paul Roberts

Bob Metheny

Nick O’dell

Philipp Scholz Ritterman

Sarah Trujillo

Robert Irwin

Jim Brown

Isabel Dutra

Jason Lane

Tom Driscoll

Joseph Huppert

Lee Lavy

Thomas DeMello


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.



ice stitch 2


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.










2 thoughts on “ICE Gallery is back!

  1. Dear Michael et al., ,

    Congratulations on your (now) beautiful new space! What you’ve accomplished is very impressive and we appreciate the narrated photos. Now, we wish you well on your exhibitions. We would love to receive your announcements and if possible, some photos from the shows. We wish we loved closer so that we could see the work in person, but for now, we’ll have to be satisfied with images.

    All our best for a successful run of great work!

    Joan and Reuben

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