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Toby Byers broke his leg and spent six months sitting on the couch.
It wasn't an ideal use maybe, but it gave him time to think about what he wanted to do, to plan out what came next.
So, when he found a rental ad on Craigslist and walked through the 1,500 square-foot space, he was ready.
The wheels started turning.
“I just thought I could do this, this, this, this and this,” he says, snapping off on his fingers the things he plans to do with the space, which opens tonight as The Treasury, an art gallery/office space/fashion boutique/gathering place at 1832 Van Ness Avenue.
There will be artwork from Alison Gisg, Josh Freeman and Lawrence Garza, performance art from Maire Nichols and music from Fif Grade. The party runs from 5 to 10 p.m. – or later, probably much later.
The place is a catch-all for freelance artists, a space that has ... well, space, for whatever it is they might do. Not every artist can afford their own studio or galley, and Byers would rather they be able to focus on the work instead of worrying about selling stuff to cover costs.
So, The Treasury rents by the hour or by the day. You can rent a wall, a room, or the entire floor, for pretty much whatever.
A fashion designer might bring in a machine and sew.
A hair stylist or makeup designer may use the studio to meet with a client for the day.
A band might rehearse or record, or put on a show.
“This is offering other people their dreams,” Byers says, and it's a privilege to be part of.
It's something he understands.
Byers is an idea kind of guy, has an entrepreneurial spirit. He started his first business when he was 8. “I sold cookies so I could spend money at the fair,” he says.
He also started Poser Co. and STEEL Clothing and these days works as a personal stylist with Let Your Mind Grow, an appointment-only boutique he operates out the Treasury.
He was taken by the punk scene, how it simultaneously reflected music and art and fashion — his three passions — and how it allowed everyone to come together as individuals to make one unified thing.
That's how he sees the Treasury.
Along with monthly ArtHop parties, look for the Treasury to host other events. Byers is already planning to bring in several clothing designers for a Black-Friday party.
If you miss tonight's opening, there's a Rehop, 5 p.m. tomorrow. It's something Byers is planning every month for those who can't make it out to Arthop proper. He hopes it catches on with other galleries/spaces in the area.