The Exhibit Space at La Tienda is not a gallery. It is not a business. It is is simply an opportunity. When La Tienda opened in December, it donated two empty spaces to artist, Dean Howell, for his annual XX art exhibition. 35 artists participated in the show. They did all the work, hung the exhibit, did the press releases, sent out the invitations, and had a wonderful event. This event was about creating an opportunity for artists to do the work closest to their hearts — regardless of whether or not it was likely to sell or of what people (or people in the art world) would say about it.
This concept of Dean’s gave birth to the idea of a semi-permanent space at La Tienda for artists to create their own shows. There are no curators here, no staff, no business. This is a free space for artists to hang their work in a professional environment without anyone trying to impact what they do. There are only a few rules:
1. 4 or more artists must show at a time to maximize the availability of this resource to the community.
2. The work must all be above a specific price point to ensure a professional quality exhibit, or the work must be marked “not for sale.”
3. No small works or craft items that are in direct conflict with the only gallery at La Tienda (The Art Garden).
4. No graphic violence or sex.
5. Artists must have an opening reception, must staff the exhibit with mutually agreed upon regular hours, and must hang, take down, and promote the exhibit themselves.
So far, the Exhibit Space has hosted 4 shows, and 70 artists. More than 1500 people have come out to view the work. La Tienda, for an unknown length of time, will continue to offer this space on a first come, first served basis, in hopes of giving artists the freedom to show the work they want to create.