Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mini Opening!

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This past weekend was the “mini opening” of our newest project, MINI GALLERY – “Athens, Georgia’s smallest art gallery and handmade boutique” It was also the opening of our inaugural art show, “LOCALS-ONLY MIXTAPE VOL.1”, featuring art by Cindy Jerrell, Leslie Snipes, and Anthony Wislar. On top of that, we were also part of the 3RD ANNUAL PULASKI STREET ART CRAWL. Saturday was a big day!

Early that morning, Missy and I headed over to Low Yo Yo Stuff Records to install the sign we built the night before. It fit perfectly underneath Lo Yo Yo’s existing sign. It was kind of a surreal moment, finally seeing our sign on the storefront – for us, it was proof that we had our own little slice of downtown Athens, and that we were about to become part of it’s storied history.

When I first moved to Athens back in 2005, Missy and I used to spend a fair amount of time shopping and hanging out at X-RAY CAFE, owned by our friend, Paul Thomas. X-Ray was this quirky antiques store that used to occupy the retail space that is shared by Low Yo Yo Stuff Records, Get Rad! skateboard shop, and now, Mini Gallery. People would just go there to hang out and talk to Paul while browsing through dusty relics, old books, magazines, and records. Sometimes, there would be “art happenings”, “craft nights”, or “experimental music nights”…we eagerly participated in all, before Paul decided to close up shop several years ago…

xmas (Missy performing at X-Ray Cafe during a Christmas-themed show she set up in the middle of summer 2002)

X-RAY CAFE (2007 – Missy hanging out at X-Ray Cafe moments before our band, THE FRENCH TOASTS, performed at the annual Boybutante Ball at the 40 Watt, which is a couple of doors down from the shop)

X-RAY 4939 (The nearly empty X-Ray Cafe shortly before closing in 2008. The space is now occupied by Low Yo Yo Stuff Records and Mini Gallery is now in that back right-hand corner)

Opening our own little store inside the space that used to be X-Ray Cafe felt like a homecoming of sorts. Also, we were opening shop inside our favorite local record store, where we spent many hours (and many dollars), digging through used records and cds. For sure, opening on Saturday was super stressful, but it was also extra special. Things came around full circle. We reminisced about the old days, but also looked forward to forging ahead with the new memories we would be making in that space…

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We opened up shop at 4pm, an hour before the Art Crawl started, in order to let the early birds come in and avoid some of the crowds. So far, the record number of people we have had crammed in the shop is eight, including me and and Missy, tucked behind the counter…

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Our friend Gary kinda looked like the long-haired figure in one of Anthony Wislar’s painting, so we made him strike the same pose:

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Cindy Jerrell had this awesome SHADOW BOX that came with a WOODEN PUPPET that could be manipulated from underneath the frame, along with a couple of batons that were used to move the arms. Missy posed the puppet in a salute:

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At one point, all three of the artists participating in our show just happened to be in the gallery at the same time, so we took the opportunity to snap a photo of them all together – Anthony Wislar, Leslie Snipes, and Cindy Jerrell:

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The Low Yo Yo Stuff dudes – Todd, Jeramy, and Spencer – got us very nice little welcome present – a vintage KATE BUSH seven-inch single. Woot!:

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Spencer, Bootsy, and Missy…where else in town can you get skateboards, records, and art all in one spot? Nowhere!

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Cards and blank books by DOUBLE DUTCH PRESS:

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Hair bows by OCEANITY; felted owls by Elizabeth Wislar of CIRCUS FISH; and small ceramic dishes by CRAFTY CARDINAL:

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10-foot felted garlands by Elizabeth of Circus Fish…perfect for Halloween!

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Drawing by Anthony Wislar:

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The current exhibition will be up until the end of November…come see it in person, if you have a chance! Athens has great art and artists, as well as great music and musicians. We will be open in the evening on Thursdays and Fridays, and afternoons and evenings on the weekends. Come see what our mighty Mini Gallery has in store!

You can follow Mini Gallery on FACEBOOK for store hours and updates HERE; Mini Gallery also has a TUMBLR account which can be found HERE.

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