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ArtPrize foot traffic tapers off somewhere on South Division between Rumors Nightclub and the Goodwill. Though the area between Fulton and Wealthy Street contain the highest concentration of year-round art galleries, few seem interested or comfortable strolling all the way to the competition’s southern boundary.
A handful of venues line this stretch of road, and on a Sunday afternoon I set out in search of something that may be missed by many. Inside an unassuming gallery space on a quiet corner, I found it.
Gaspard is a small live/work space on the corner of Williams and Division that has become home to “Spiritual Lake,” an exhibition created by two recent Hope graduates, Chris Cox and Jacob Bullard. Their work combines photographs, poetry, and found artifacts.
The two began working together while still in school and continued to explore how they might “accentuate or expand the collaborative project.” Cox explained,
“I think poetry and writing really love each other," he said, "and so the partnership between the two of us happened quite naturally.”
What is first evident is the professional composition of the space. The presentation of the exhibit is of the caliber expected at exhibition centers and showcase venues, if not higher. The interplay between the various mediums is simple, yet powerful, making the exhibition not only beautiful but quite easily accessible.
At times, the work feels as though it ought best be viewed while a Mumford and Sons album plays quietly in the background, and I half expected the foreword of the accompanying book to contain lines from Rob Bell. However, despite a couple well-placed mustaches and lackluster title, the exhibit carries enough weight to lift it above the confines of hipster Christiandom.
Cox’s photographs capture innocence and exploration, and Bullard’s words suggest there may always be more to explicate and discover. For young artists, the space the two have created only creates intrigue for what may come later.
Bullard says the name for the gallery- Gaspard- is a word meaning treasure keeper and often associated with the Three Wisemen.
“We felt like this place would be where we present things we find valuable. Our vision is being able to show art we believe deserves a serious treatment,” he says.
Combining the worlds of literary and visual art is not an easy task, yet these two make it look easy. Gaspard Gallery pulls it off naturally, making the visit to the end of the ArtPrize borders worth the trip.
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