Despite the fact that three businesses have called it quits in Northside in the past month or so (Ali’s Boutique, Shoe-topia and the Northside Art Gallery), two ladies are trying their hand at opening something. Aileen McGrath and Chris Salley are celebrating the opening of their new gallery/boutique/supply store, Fabricate, tonight with an exhibition of Salley’s small, self-portrait paintings and music by PROJECTMILL (along with hors d’oeuvres and beverages).
Danny Cross wrote a To Do pick about the party here. And I e-mailed some questions to McGrath and Salley to learn more about their vision for the gallery/shop. See their answers below:
CityBeat: What is the name of your gallery?
CB: What does the name mean?
F: It means “to make by art or skill and labor; construct.” We’d kinda been butting heads on a name that we both liked and we’d both had that same word on our lists to describe the kinds of things we are going to be doing in there. We liked that it describes working with hard things, like metal or wood, and soft things, like textiles. It also means: “to devise or invent something.”
CB: Do you have a mission statement?
F: A store and gallery hybrid where artists, crafters and designers can be inspired, supplied and showcased.
CB: Who is responsible for the gallery? What did you two do before this?
F: We both are equally responsible for everything. We will both pick what art will show each month and work to constantly be filling the store with consigner’s merchandise. We will also both be working in the store. We will still continue to work our other jobs as well. (Chris as a Program Manager for Girl Scouts of Western Ohio and Aileen as a bartender at Northside Tavern.)
CB: There aren’t generally many galleries in Northside, save for Feralmade, which is now Raymond Thunder-Sky, inc. and Prairie. How do you think the neighborhood will respond to your presence?
F: We’ve already gotten a really positive response. We both know a lot of people in Northside and Cincinnati and it seems like everyone is coming out for the opening. We are kinda intimated actually with how many people have said they are coming. … We think the community will embrace it. There isn’t anything like what we are doing in Northside already. Everyone we talk to is really fired up to have an art show in there and create other things to sell as well.
CB: With the recent closing of businesses like shoe-topia and Ali’s Boutique, how are you two planning to ensure your vitality?
F: Bribery via pie! But seriously, this is our passion project and we both have other incomes, so we are not sweating every dollar even though it is going to be tight. We are able to experiment because we have stability elsewhere. There will be new art exhibits once a month and a lot of our friends are creative people who make amazing things, but don’t have a place to display/sell them except for online, so we are providing them that space. We will have unique items, locally made, that you can’t find anywhere else.
CB: What else will be there besides artworks?
F: Ultimately, all sorts of handmade goods from local indie crafters: art prints, scarves, jewelry, cards, stationary, accessories, pillows, curtains, unique artist T-shirt lines and eventually bigger creations like furniture and lighting. Anything that we think is interesting and would be cool to sell. We will also have art and craft supply as well. All of this we will be building up as we go. It’s gonna start-up small and then grow from there as we acquire more merchandise and, therefore, the funds to stock more art supply.
CB: What are your plans for the future? How do you envision the gallery six months from now?
F: Haha! Hopefully we’ll not still be paying rent out o’ pocket. It’s gonna be a slow build, but we are comfortable with that. We hope the creative community sees us as a resource and an outlet, as well as a great place to see new art once a month along with the other new things that their peers create. And hopefully in turn that inspires them to keep creating more things to display and sell there.
CB: What can gallery-goers expect to see in your inaugural exhibit?
F: Chris’ paintings. The space in general. Us jumping up and down when we make out first dollar…aaaannnnnd probably making sure it’s being documented via various photographic devices. Potable beverages. Their friends! The beginnings of the boutique and us communicating with future consigners about their work. Suggestion box for art supplies to stock. High fives! My mom. Snackage generously supplied to us via Hideaway, Take the Cake and cookies from the now imfamous Mikey B!
CB: You say you enter through Red Polly. HOW? Where is the gallery?
F: We are 4012 Hamiliton Ave. in Northside, but you will enter through 4016 Hamilton Ave. You will come through Red Polly’s front door, we share the same entrance. Walk to the room on the right. Two of the walls in our space will always be dedicated to artwork that will stay up all month.
CB: Tell me bout the party.
F: Fabricate’s grand opening will be on Friday, with the inaugural art show 4 x 6 x 100: an exhibition of Chris’ paintings. What started out as sketches for larger works turned into a series of one hundred 4 x 6 paintings that are self-portrait snapshots of everyday emotions, split-second ideas and random documentation of the images that reside in her brain. There will potable beverages, hors d’oeuvres and entertainment provided by the DJ’s of PROJECTMILL, creators of award winning DANCE_MF. This is your first chance to get a glimpse of the location that will house once-a-month art exhibits and shows, preview the beginnings of the boutique and meet/talk with the owners about consigning your own handiwork in the future. It’s gonna be a lot fun and will hopefully get everyone ramped up for future exhibitions we plan on having each month accompanied by different DJ’s and bands.
Tonight is the Koala Fires' one year anniversary show at the Northside Tavern with Dan Mecher (Turnbull ACs) and Adam Arcuragi (Philadelphia). The Cincy Scene Rock Fest is goin’ down at Madison Theatre featuring The Sundresses, The Host, Slow Claw, The Guitars, Lemon G, Wake the Bear and Wonky Tonk. State Song is playing Molly Malone’s in Covington. Circuit Des Yeux, Yuppies, Tiny Fights and Tenthaus rock the Art Damage Lodge. The Hiders, Lovely Crash and The Emeralds play Fountain Square for Indie Summer.
Mansions & Bitches is hosting its Prep School Shakedown at C&D tonight if dancing be your shiz.
Tonight The Lions Rampant play Fountain Square with the J. Dorsey Blues Revival and The Mysts of Time. Jake Speed and The Freddies are playing Northside Tavern. Southgate House hosts The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker, J. Dorsey Blues Revival and Daughters and Sons.
Man, I just recently started watching Deadwood with the boyfriend. (I just IM’d him to confirm that he’s offish my boyfriend, because I’d never typed out the word before — in regards to him — and it looked funny, so I had to double check.)
So … apparently homeless men use our back courtyard as their neighborhood self-service bar. For several days in a row, upon first moving in, I would come back from brunch shenans or some other stuffing-my-mouth-hole activity (boozing) only to find one or several dudes sitting at our outside table knocking back a couple.
Have you had brunch at Chalk yet? If you haven’t, you are missing out on a mouth-hole party o’ epic proportions. I’d been meaning to pop in there to see what all the fuss was about for a while now, but it wasn’t until last Sunday that a group o’ friends and I actually meandered down there.
Chalk is situated on Greenup Street in Covington, across from Keystone (another fine brunchin’ establishment). Gerald Shell has recently started DJing brunch there and that was actually my impetus to finally check it out.
Even before we made it to the door, I ran into people I knew sitting and standing outside. Before we made it to our booth, I quickly discovered this was going to be a friend reunion o’ garnormous proportions. Be prepared: Everyone you just saw the night before or haven’t seen in two months will be there. This could be a good or a bad thing, depending on how much of a drunken ass you were the night prior.
Sweet tuneage beckoned us in and the walls were painted an invigorating, yet soothing pistachio green. All of the artwork was comprised of chalk renderings and it really is a sweet little setup. The wait staff is an adorable bevy o’ girls with personality and tats to boot. The menu is concise, but full of anomalous options, featuring tasty morning libations on one side and unique food tantalizers on the back. I started with a Wake up you’re at Chalk concoction consisting of espresso, vanilla vodka and Irish cream and moved on to their Rough Times Mimosas, which are only $2.50 a pop. Seriously, if that’s not a reason alone to frequent this joint after a night out, I don’t know what is.
Our waitress, Tess, was amazing, and you wouldn’t kick her out o’ bed for eating crackers, either. Think a much hotter version o’ the nerdy, do-gooder, Jesus freak chick from Freaks and Geeks. She even had similar mannerisms. I kept telling my best guys who came with that they needed to bravado up and make a move, of course to no avail. If I ever switch to the vag side, I may go hit her up.
I ordered the sticky bun sandwich, because I’d been ogling Gerald’s since I’d come in and it was THE. BEST. THING. EVER! Mouth-hole party extraordinaire! It consisted of yummy pulled pork, an over easy egg and bacon, all sammiched in-between a cinnamon sticky bun. Seriously brunchgasmic! Mikey B. ordered the Bulls Eye, which was the traditional eggs cooked into a hole in toast with a side of goetta, and it was also uber scrumptious. Yusef partook of the Banana French toast, which also looked delish, if ya swing that way.
Our food did take an exceptionally long time to get to us, but at some point a guy came out and explained that the hold-up was due to eggs getting spilled all over the printer, therefore backing up all of the orders because tickets weren’t getting printed. Upon the hilarity of the explanation and the fact that they graciously did not charge us for any of our drinks to make up for the delay, forgiveness was instant and sincere on our part. Whilst waiting, we discovered the fun bounceability of the booth seating and started rhythmically bouncing to Gerald’s dancy beats and noticing the other aesthetic wonders of our surroundings, such as the bacon band-aid on the big fake pig head on the wall and the fact that there is a huge taco painted on the ceiling of the men’s restroom (insta-bonus points!). It is worth a trip into the little boy’s room to view. Not to mention the fact that both restrooms are painted top to bottom with chalkboard paint so you can graffiti to your hearts content, or until someone else has to pee. Another bathroom perk = those jet engine hand dryers!
All in all, this is a newfangled favorite in Brunchland for me and I’m kinda a self-proclaimed connoisseur o’ all things brunch. The food was fabulous, the atmosphere was upbeat and revitalizing, the staff was darling and efficient, and the mimosas kept flowing. I would highly recommend it as a perfect way to start the day and coax yourself out of a hungover slug state. There is some really nice outdoor seating on the patio out back as well.
Weekend TO DO list:
Friday Night: Hit up the Southgate House for a bazillion bands playing for the Chick Pimp, Coke Dealer At A Bar CD Release with Wonky Tonk, Rumpke Mountain Boys, The Harlequins, The Lions Rampant, Stick Figures, The Sundresses, Losanti, The Flux Capacitors, Matthew Shelton and more. The StarDevils are at the Comet, Pris Dance Party is going down at C&D and Grammer’s is having a Moustache Party.
Sunday: Gerald is playing Motown at Chalk for Mother’s Day. I heard from an in-the-know source that there are already a ridiculously large number of reservations for this Sunday, so you may wanna call first to suss out the situation there and/or make reservations.
I was thoroughly convinced that I was dying o’ Swine Flu earlier this week. I’m still not entirely persuaded that I’m not! Sore throat. Copious coughing fits. Drinking drugstore knock-off Dayquil and Nyquil from the bottle. Dumping some of it on the ground for my homies.
Midgets are adorable. I can’t help it. So imagine my surprise when I went to Lexington last night with You, You’re Awesome for a show at Al’s Bar (Owl’s Bar to Kay Bay Bay) and there were not one, but TWO midgets there! Little people? Whatever you’re supposed to call ‘em, I like ‘em! I like ‘em a lot!
Cookie was an adorable little African American midge in a doo rag and I was immediately endeared. My first real encounter with her was in the bathroom. She went running past me at top short person speed to get to the stall proclaiming: “This one’s an emergency!”
GO OUTSIDE! It is effin’ gorgeous out!
I’m just gonna state the weekend worthy facts and go frolic in this fantab weather. Plus I’m all out o’ funny stories for the moment.
So…I’ve had a long standing theory for many years now that rock face = sex face. ‘Tis 89.7361 percent accurate by my scientific findings. OK, maybe not uber scientific, but I find it to be highly unerring all the same. So do most o’ my girlfriends, upon having the fact pointed out to ‘em.