Guest post by Cassy Christ, UA Little Rock Art History/Applied Design student and SMC artist/ worker bee-
March 1, 2019 was the opening night of our debut pop-up gallery Twenty-Somethings. The show will be up through the end of April.
Twenty-Somethings was the brainchild of Valerie, the owner of SMC, myself and my peer and co-curator Grace Lytle. Val had the idea to start hosting pop-up gallery shows in a booth in the shop. After talking for a bit we decided that our main focus of the show was to gain exposure for young central Arkansas artists who are still building their careers. We also wanted to embrace the nontraditional nature of pop-up galleries, which we felt fits perfectly into our unique shop. We mixed in vintage and reclaimed furniture as well as found drift wood as display to help tie the show in with the rest of the shop and to make the curation feel more welcoming for customers.
One of the most outstanding parts of this experience was working with our group of artists. We reached out to each artist because they had unique and well-crafted work, and of course they are also in their twenties! The exciting blend of work they brought including paintings, photography, jewelry, ceramics, textiles, collage and more really worked with our hopes of having a multi-media show.
I never fathomed I would be curating my first art show so soon, and at my favorite place. For me, this experience has been a dream come true. I’m an art history major and applied design minor at UA Little Rock, and the thought of getting practical experience in these fields can be daunting. I was so excited about this opportunity and I loved applying my art history knowledge during curation. My involvement forced me to reevaluate the importance of things such as community involvement, communication, promotion, organization and other logistics as well as the realities of working with other very busy people and finding quick solutions that work for everyone while still serving our goals for the show. All of these concepts were integral to the show’s success and gave me insight into the daily challenges small business owners and others organizing community events face.
Working with other young people was so refreshing and the overwhelming support we got on opening night proves that more things like this need to happen. So please, keep supporting local and small businesses and always encourage young artists! Come by and visit the shop if you haven’t already and see us on the first Friday of every month for SOMA After Dark. Thanks for reading!