The Place to be

Illustration by Michael Todoran

Place Gallery is a scrappy, homespun art gallery and artist studio run by one of my oldest friends, the awesome Gina Quaranto. In recent months, Place, located on Main Street across from the S2 Art Center, has become a favorite among the local underground/low brow/outcast art scene, hosting multiple shows every month, with epic First Friday receptions including artisans, live music, libations and more. It’s technically the first gallery in which I’ve ever formally shown art (in the LVSK8 IV group show). And, sadly, it’s become a victim of multiple factors threatening to crush its already delicate existence.

This summer, the building housing Place has had power and air conditioning problems — not something that a business in the Las Vegas summer can endure. Then, a few weeks ago, an exploding electrical transformer rocked Main Street, damaging businesses for blocks, including Place, which is now missing several window and door panes. The gallery has been temporarily closed due to the conditions, and while insurance will cover replacement of the glass, it won’t do so without a steep $5,000 deductible, which Place just doesn’t have in pocket.

Art Renegades, the collective that organized LVSK8 IV, is moving the skateboard art show temporarily to Todd VonBaastian’s Alios Gallery, a few blocks south of Place at 1221 S. Main St., where a second reception for the group show will be held this Friday. At the same time, a fund-raising event is being held at Alios for Place, called “Picking Up The Pieces.” Details are still being worked out, but there will be some sort of art auction, raffle prizes, bake sale and other fun stuff to raise funds for Place — whether it’s to pay for repairs to the existing location, or help pay for the gallery to move somewhere less volatile.

I donated five of the Giant Robot prints (as seen in my online store) for the art auction, as well as a complete set of comics from Pop! Goes the Icon (including The Utopian #1-3 and Omega Comics Presents #1-2), and I’ll be down there for the benefit auction/reception as well. It starts at 6:30 p.m., and I highly recommend you come down and toss in a few bucks. Great deals on locally grown art can be had. And you can see the monstrosity I painted on a skateboard deck as well.

If you can’t make it to the event, donations are being accepted online as well.

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