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Forget the gallery, this is art space
The thing about art is, it needs an audience. Which can be problematic in a city where some of the galleries aren't galleries at all, and the ones that are are mostly co-ops with waiting lists.
It's the yin and yang of the art world.
“It's wonderful if you're a part of it,” says Marcos Dorado, an Fresno artist who's shown across the nation.
For those who aren't, there's the Golda Foundation Art Space, which opened on the Fulton Mall in October.
It's called an art space for a reason.
Inspired in part by Live Worms Gallery in San Francisco, it's a pay-to-play kinda place, charging $100 a night (not bad for a group show) on a first-come, first-served basis. And because the space is used on limited terms — sometimes only a night or two — the art will always be changing, sometimes as often as every week.
It's a model used in a lot of other cities, Dorado says.
It's great for him because he travels a lot, and is too busy for the responsibilities of being a co-op gallery member. But it's also perfect for those who haven't shown before and have no gallery ties.
“You just plug yourself right in,” says Dorado, who is showing at the Art Space in December. “It's nice to have that immediacy.”
And the foundation doesn't get anything from the deal, says Tom Collins, a director with the Golda Foundation, which provides subsistence grants to poets, writers, painters sculptors and performers, and seeks to promote public interest in the creative process.
“When they sell, they keep 100 percent of the profits.”
That's per the foundation's mission. You see, before it was the Golda Foundation, it was just Robert Yarra helping his friends do what they love.
“There are many great artists who suffer the tribulations of job — trying to write, paint, and compose, while at the same time wondering where their next meal will come from or when they will lose the roof over their heads. In many other countries, the artist is lauded and respected and given enough money to keep body and soul together. In America, except for a small audience, most artists are not appreciated unless they are seen on the TV or the big screen or heard and seen on MTV,” Yarra writes on the organization's Web site.
So, the foundation (named for Yarra's mother) fosters art at all levels. It published a book on Australian artist Vali Myers (available at Amazon.com), and helped calendars with art from first and second graders. The calendars were donated back to the school, where they were used as fundraisers.
In January, the Art Space will feature more art from first and second graders, along with original pieces from Doug Hansen, to coincide with the release of his children's book.
The Golda Foundation Art Space
1239 Fulton (on the Fulton Mall, next to Milano)
Now showing works from the various artists, including Marcos Dorado and the Fresno Printmakers Guild
Hours and artists vary
(559) 261-1101, www.goldafoundation.org