It’s an ARTICLE about ART. Get it?

Guys, trust me – I’m not what you would call “heavily involved” in the visual arts. I look at some picture books and sometimes I like galleries. Remember how I don’t like to spout to much bout politics because I don’t know a whole lot? Well, its the same with “art” as well. I just haven’t read enough books, talked to enough people, or integrated myself enough in the community to feel like my opinions are worthwhile. BUT – I still have eyes and I have opinions – as unjustified as they might be. Anyhow, all that to say, I attended not only a show opening last Friday but a *gallery* opening. Thanky Space, a new DIY art space created by Victoria Long with help from Andy Jenkins, Travis Robertson, Max Hubenthal, and more good friends, opened its doors at 407 Brook Road, Richmond, VA (right next to Gallery5) last Friday to critical acclaim – well at least my critical acclaim.

Since it seems as no other press outlets have beaten me to the punch, I’m taking it upon myself to introduce Thanky Space to Richmond. I asked a few questions, poked my nose around, and here’s some bits and pieces I was able to scrounge up.

Thanky, named after a word created by local artist and Wii playing extraordinaire Travis Robertson, will exist for one year. Between September 2008 and August 2009 they will host a series of shows, several of which will feature folks who have shown work at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of Art, Deitch Projects and other galleries in LA, NYC and Tokyo. At the end of this whole bit I will include the planned lineup for this year’s worth of shows, including names, galleries, and other bits and pieces that will keep your search engine up all night. But before that, I’ll give my own take of the space and the current exhibit (sparing you any boring industry speak), and then we’ll be out of here and you’ll be alone with Google and that insatiable curiosity that really is a double edged sword, isn’t it?

So all I know is currently hanging from the ceiling of Thanky is an eight-foot beluga whale…piñata! AND, this isn’t even the only piñata – there’s a whole herd of them. Animals of all sorts, fashioned out of the same papier mache that gripped my imagination as child. There’s a buffalo, (DIBS!! Wheres that damn price list, Kristin?!?!?) some birds, and an anteater, I think. There are also some excellent watercolors and a burgeoning store that carries a variety of local and non-local artists’ wares.

In short? A wonderful place filled with treats of all sorts (imagine what they probably put inside that whale – maybe steaks!?) Check it out, BUY SOME ART, and report back.

A list of Thanky’s upcoming shows…

September – Kristin Smith (as mentioned above). The exhibit will feature drawings, prints, and an installation of handmade piñatas depicting animals such as a buffalo, an owl, an anteater and an eight-foot beluga whale! The title of the exhibit, Herd Here, references a world where animals and people share the same space. Smith’s work imparts a sincere reverence for animals and imagination along with an appreciation for the comforts and weird parts of gatherings and celebration.

October – Erin Womack. Masks, screen-prints, drawings, paintings, film. Erin is our friend from Baltimore. She is awesome and inspired by Star Wars among other things. More info on her here and here.

November – Technicomfort. Technicomfort is a group show about bright/nice colors. Work by Megan Whitmarsh, Andrew Jeffrey Wright, Joseph Buzzell, Leif Goldberg, Apak, Mumbreeze, Dearraindrop, and more. Curated by Victoria Long. (Note: Megan Whitmarsh, Andrew Jeffrey Wright and Dearraindrop are all kind of “big names”… If you Google their names, you’ll get websites or photos of their work.)

December – Foodist Colony, curated by Travis Robertson. This group show will accept canned goods in exchange for art work. The donated canned food will be given to the Central Virginia Food Bank.

January – Sister Corita. Maybe the biggest show they’re doing. Her work has shown at the MoMA and many other places. Thanky Space is gonna show a bunch of her screen-prints from the 60s. More info on her here and here.

March – Kevin Hooyman. Heavily detailed drawings and watercolors. Beautiful, kind of psychedelic, nature-friendly work. More info here.

April – Genevieve Elverum. Her show will be called “Some Shit.” She is an illustrator and musician who performs under the named Woelv sometimes.

May – Ron Rege, an illustrator (and musician– drummer in Lavender Diamond).

July– Shawn Reed/Sumi Ink Club. He screen prints and does other art. Sumi Ink Club was in the Whitney Biennial this year – big time! More info here.

August – Max Hubenthal/Travis Robertson

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Matthew E. White

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  1. I *need* an eight-foot papier mache beluga. For the baby’s room of course. Not for me to stare at and sing “Baby beluga in the deep blue sea…” Right.

  2. Summer Drone Club! Here tonight for the closing…I think. 7-9? I dunno…we are way too organised. There will be slide guitars, thats all I’m saying.

  3. lindsey on said:

    december will be an awesomely cool month over there!

  4. Pingback: Thanky Space Friday! | RVANews

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