Our last show: Tom Driscoll

Tom Driscoll opening

We couldn’t have been more pleased with our last show at ICE Gallery.  It was such a pleasure to work with our good friend Tom Driscoll, and he didn’t disappoint with his final results.  We gave Tom free reign to show any work he wanted and to do anything he saw fit with the space.   Initially he asked us what kind of show/work we wanted to see from him.  Our response was to tell him “it doesn’t matter what we want.  You just do the exact show that you want to see, and we’ll help you realize it”.

dirty wet gallery

The photo above is what the gallery looked like about 2 weeks before the opening.  The space had been a disaster for so many months, it felt good to get it all cleaned up and ready for install one last time.

2 foam sculptures

Tom’s idea for an “all foam show”, along with his decisions on how to show the work was just the kind of unique approach we love about Tom and his work.  Just about every piece was made specifically for the show and a couple pieces were made specifically with the space in mind.

Philipp shooting Toms work

We had the best turn out to date at the opening and everyone seemed to really enjoy the work.  In fact our good friend Philipp Scholz Rittermann was so excited by the show that he offered to shoot it for Tom.  The shots came out great!  Check them out full screen in the slideshow below.

ICE is officially dead. One last hoorah!

Photo by Kinsee Morlan

The reason we never fixed the roof:
Once all of our donations were collected the next step was to contact the property management and talk to them about drafting a new lease agreement.  We wanted it in writing that if we spent the time and money to fix the roof that they wouldn’t raise our rent or evict us prematurely.  We never got the opportunity to talk to the property manager.  He dodged us for weeks.  Weeks turned into months.  We had been trying since spring to get a hold of the guy.  We just recently gave up.

What killed ICE?  What now?:
We got information a couple weeks ago that a local architect was buying the property, the whole block in fact, and had plans to demolish the building in order to build new housing and shopping.  We found this out not from the owner of our building but through mutual friends of the architect.  We still had yet to hear from the owner.  Through yet another friend who used to work for the architect we found out that the plans for demo weren’t going to be implemented for at least a few months.  So we scrapped all plans to fix the building (obviously) and decided we’d temporarily patch the roof and try to have at least a couple more shows before it all ended.   We finally heard from the owner this week.  Our eviction notice came via their lawyers.  We have to be out by January 1st.

The good news:
As far as ICE goes, well, it’s dead.  If there’s no old ice factory then what’s the point in calling it ICE Gallery?  However, the ICE gang has been offered a new space in a very interesting art and design building that will open next year.  We’re so excited!  So plan on seeing more activity from us in the months to come.  We’ll keep you in the loop as more details are solidified.   In addition, we’re planning on having one more opening before January 1st.  We’re very happy that our good friend Tom Driscoll is planning on doing a site specific installation before fate deals it’s final blow.

Barring any further unforeseen circumstances, the opening for Tom Driscoll’s show will be Friday December 7th – details to come.  We can’t wait to see what Tom comes up with!

We are so very grateful to everyone that came out to the openings and to all who showed interest in what we do.

A special thanks to those who donated to the “Save ICE Gallery” fund earlier this year:

Philipp Scholz Ritterman, Pamela Putian, Edith Baumann, Joan & Reuben Baron, Amanda Durbin, Mathew Simms, Harmony Murphy, Naomi Tarle, Marissa Feliciano, DJ Mane One, Jenna Jacobs, Juan Villescas, Paul Roberts, Kinsee Morlan, Ben Strauss-Malcolm, Christina Hendershaw, Therese James Chung, Jeannie Armstrong, Sarah Trujillo-Porter, Alex Calderon, Jon Hall, Seth Combs, Mara De Luca

If we somehow forgot your name (we hope not!), let us know.


Don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere.  We’ve got big plans for 2013. 😉

So, what the hell is going on with ICE?

Well, we’re still gearing up to replace the roof but it’s been a slow process.  Our fundraiser late last year was just short of being a failure.  However, thanks to 23 very gracious individuals, we did obtain about $2700 which we are still sitting on.  The next step is to find a roofer/contractor who can give us some free step by step advice on how to do the job ourselves (anybody know one?).  We don’t even know if it’s going to be possible with only $3000, but what other choice is there?  Such is life.  We’re still going to try our hardest.

On a brighter note, when we do finally get ICE back on it’s feet (hopefully by the fall) one of our first orders of business will be to have an exhibition with local artist Tom Driscoll.

In the past, ICE has been solely at the disposal of the 4 guys involved (and we’re still not going to be taking submissions or anything like that) – but when our buddy Tom Driscoll invited us to see his studio, we were all so impressed that we knew we wanted to show his work (he also got extra points for being the only local artist to come to every opening at ICE, usually accompanied by another great San Diego artist, Richard Allen Morris).  Tom is a highly under appreciated artist that has been making art in San Diego for many years (he even used to have a studio right across the street from ICE!)  We know Tom will do something great with our space, but until that time please enjoy some photos we took during our visit to Toms studio (the slideshow can be viewed full screen):

Photos from A Study In Transparency

Finally, shots from Michael’s last exhibition.  This piece was next to impossible to capture in photos, but we know some of you who didn’t get to see it in person are curious what it looked like.  So, click the image below to see all the shots.

Rain, concrete, and a new show

To those of you who wonder how some poor artists who live paycheck to paycheck can afford to have a space in a decent, high traffic part of town…this is one of the main reasons why:

If it’s wet outside, then it’s bound to be wet inside. This puddle is relatively tame compared to how it can get on a day when it pours. Today was just a mild shower. As you can imagine, this can be really frustrating when you’re trying to install a show that’s supposed to open in a week. Hell, if this continues, we might have to postpone more shows until after winter. Ugh, so aggravating. But again, that’s part of the reason the space at 3417 30th St is an artist run exhibition space, and not some trendy clothing store.

Ah well, on a sunnier note…we got new concrete! Yes! Much like the rest of the property, the sidewalk in front of the building was deteriorated beyond repair. As you can see in the picture below from Lee’s 2010 show, it was half shoddy asphalt, half dirt.

It was finally time to do something about it.  So early one Saturday morning, Lee, Joey, and Michael went at that crappy asphalt with a digging bar and a sledge hammer.

and then dug out a reasonably level hole, and made two trips to the dump to get rid of the asphalt.

That was enough for one day.  Breaking up asphalt is hard work.  The next day it was time to lay some rebar in preparation for a new pad of concrete.   The concrete would have to wait a week though, so that we could have a professional help us.  Here’s where Dave comes in.  What an incredibly nice guy.  Dave was willing to help us pour the concrete for FREE just to help out a few penniless artists.  It just goes to show you that if you’re enthusiastic about a project, you can find others that will be just as enthusiastic about helping you, even if you have no money.

Man, Dave worked his ass off that day.  And when it was all done and we handed him a few dollars of appreciation, he was stunned.  He honestly didn’t expect any payment for the job, he did it just to help out some fellow artists.  Thank you Dave!  (and thanks to Jeremy for telling Dave about us, and for helping with the labor)

Well, all done.  This pad of concrete will definitely outlast the building.

Now when is Michael’s show going to finally be done?  What the heck is going on in there anyway?

Find out on 9/16/2011…provided it doesn’t rain.

Photos of Lee Lavy’s new installation

Ok, we’ve got a ton of photos to share with you!  First we’ll start with some shots of Lee working in his studio.  The pieces you see here are all trial runs that eventually led up to the gallery installation. (click on the photos below to go to the entire group of shots)

lee in his studio

Next are some shots of Joey, Tom, and Lee preparing the gallery for what was to be about a 5 day install:

preparing the gallery

We’ve also got photo’s from day one of the install:

day one install

…and day two:

day two install

…and day three:

day three install

And then of course we’ve got the finished product (along with some shots of Lee with the work):

lee with red and blue


all photos by Michael James Armstrong