Embracing the double entendre of the gallery's name, the Projects unites its urban community surroundings with artists and art-buyers, bringing this art class assignment to street level through participatory "cheap art."
Each exhibit begins with a theme. Artists are invited to interpret that theme through artwork. Works are created, submitted and displayed on Final Friday to waves of wandering crowds who eye the work and bid or buy.
For example, Yard Art was the theme of a summer show. The space was transformed into an indoor suburbia, with sod blanketing the floor and a lemonade stand. Artists contributed yard sculptures like painted lawn chairs and garden gnomes.
"I began noticing how many creative people there are who did not go into the arts for a living -- professional people who do not need to make money from their art but would love an outlet to think out of the box occasionally," says gallery owner Sarah Bellamy, about her inspiration to form the community-based space.
Consequently, everyone's a participant. You don't have to be an established artist to pick up a project. And the art's affordable, so you don't have to be a connoisseur to purchase.
The Projects occupies a street-level storefront on 13th Street in Over-the-Rhine, running perpendicular to Main Street, hugging the colorful corner shared by LifeEsthetics and Flowers & Beyond. In fact, Leah Spurrier of LifeEsthetics offered her storage space to Bellamy to house The Projects. Now about 150 people visit the gallery each Final Friday. Talk about neighborhood development.
Address: 114 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine
First opened: November 2002
Hours: 6-10 p.m. Final Fridays
Next exhibit: Photosensitvity, art work involving a photograph, opens Friday. Each work is priced at $30. Mud, Sweat and Tears, featuring ceramics and clay work, is the February theme. Due date for submissions is Feb. 21.
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