Soledad St Marketplace: @risK Artisan Gallery & La Perla Books & Coffee
One of the most interesting places on Soledad Street is our @risK gallery. Internationally famed artist David Ligare 'named' our studio/exhibition space in 2008, calling it "@risK" not because the contributing artists were 'at risk', but because the art itself was - on the edge of acceptance, appreciation - it was even considered by some to be dangerous. The @risK gallery is located at 19 Soledad St, across the street from Dorothy's Place.
@risK functions as both a studio space, currently the home of Breakthrough H'Art's mosaic project, and as a exhibition space during Oldtown Salinas' First Friday Art Walk, and other times that we just feel like showing the world what we have to offer. We're mostly teetering on the edge of abject poverty - struggling to fund art supplies - struggling to find enough staff time to devote to it - but when it all comes together, it rocks!
In 2009, we received quite a bit of attention as we hosted a talented group of teenage graffitti artists. They worked weekly with David Ligare, honing their skills as 'legitimate' artists, and creating beautiful word art. They also supported a progressive mural on the wall of the building. We found with the youth that frequented our studio that when their work is appreciated and valued, it not only becomes beautiful, but the artist becomes mindful that IT IS ART. These youth artists devote more time to the studio and less time to ‘tagging’. Several of our artists have sold their works on canvas and are creating impressive portfolios.
Unfortunately, we were not able to continue staff support without funding. The good news is that we have invited artists to create new art on the wall of our current @risK studio and it looks like they'll get started on that soon. Stay tuned.
In 2010, we began a mosaic project with our guests and one of our Companions members, Mia Ferreira. Mia showed us how to turn scraps of 'found' ceramic materials into startlingly beautiful mosaic art and began a partnership with Interim Inc's Breakthrough H'Art program. The partnership created the beautiful mural mosaics that are now permanent architectural features of Interim's Sunflower Gardens residence on Sun Street in Salinas. This year, Breakthrough H'Art will unveil their newest mosaic project project on Tuesday, October 11 at noon at the Salinas Transit Center, 110 Salinas Street. It is the creative work of adults with psychiatric disabilities and the homeless artists from Dorothy's Place. It is a represenation of the Salinas agricultural fields and surrounding landscapes. The project was made possible by a grant from Community Foundation for Monterey County.
Check our News and Events page for upcoming @risK gallery presentations.
How You Can Help
You can help create an artist community that overcomes adversity, and we need YOUR help. Give us a shout if you can help with:
· Your time as a volunteer
· Funds to pay building utilities
· Funds for supplies
· In-kind donations of supplies