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Artspace Founders Start New Gallery

In March the six will open Art6, a new artist-run gallery in Artspace’s former site at 6 E. Broad St. The concept — as a nonprofit gallery with a board of directors and artist members — will be similar to Artspace. The founders will serve as the board of directors, and they’re looking for 24 to 30 founding members.

“Aside from being outstanding artists, we’re looking for people with certain expertise like exhibition installation, video production and Web design,” Humphrey says. She also says the new gallery would like to take the Artspace model and “move it up a notch,” namely by making it more international.

Near, Humphrey and her son Thomas MacGillivray Humphrey went to Oaxaca, Mexico, last year in preparation for Artspace’s “Celebration des las Artes Latinas.” They met a gallery owner there who later visited Artspace to speak. When Artspace held an internationally flavored show, one of the six founding members of Art6 usually curated it.

Humphrey says mostly the six founders just weren’t ready to leave their old home behind, especially after all the renovations recently made to the building, including adding museum-quality lighting to the main gallery.

“It’s just such an exciting space,” Humphrey says. “People have come in and said, ‘You’ve got a better space than top New York galleries.’” Plus, she says, the neighborhood is starting to look up. “We’re hopeful that a Richmond renaissance will kick in and that the Performing Arts Center will be there, and there will be an audience that appreciates us,” she says. She envisions Broad Street as a burgeoning cultural corridor stretching from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Broad Street campus to the planned Performing Arts Center downtown.

Petie Bogen-Garrett, an Artspace member who pushed to move across the river, says Art6’s location is beautiful but difficult to work with. Still, she hopes the new group has luck. “I applaud anyone who has the guts to open a gallery,” she says, “and given that I think there’s some real talent involved, I wish them the best of success.”

Art6’s first show is set for March, and will feature works from the collections of the six founders, as well as work from Oaxaca and by well-known Nigerian printmaker Bruce Onobrakpeya.

Art6 will hold a preliminary meeting Jan. 14, 6 p.m., at Café Gutenberg, 1700 E. Main St., to attract prospective artist members. — Carrie Nieman

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