Blasted Art Gallery LLC
Bill Shelley & Chris Beards
Backstreet Building, Art Alley, South "A" Street, SOFA Arts District, Santa Rosa, NorCal
BLASTED ART GALLERY FAREWELL STATEMENT - January 2019
Thank you for the past year! We feel it is the right time to close Blasted Art Gallery.
We would like to thank the exceptional artists we exhibited, the Sonoma County art community, and all the people who came out to support our efforts to bring high-quality, Sonoma County art into view. Special thanks to the SOFA Arts District, the Imaginists, and especially the artists in the Backstreet Building, for their welcome and enthusiasm for what we have done during the past year.
This collaborative project was initially conceived as a one-time pop-up group show. We decided to start up a fully realized art space and explore creativity and to provide a venue for interesting and inventive Sonoma County art. It bloomed into Blasted Art Gallery LLC, with a mission of showing good local art well. We feel that Blasted Art Gallery successfully accomplished that mission. Our only regret is that we will not be showing all the fine Sonoma County artists on our list.
Blasted Art Gallery was a great experience for us. As working artists, it was interesting to be on the gallery side of the art equation. There are more moving parts and decisions in the operation of an art gallery than we realized, and our appreciation for what gallery owners do has only increased. The two of us found that we work well together, and for the most part, shared a common aesthetic perspective. We spent more time and money than we thought we would, but as a labor of devotion, it was all worth it.
We have not ruled out the possibility of another iteration of Blasted Art Gallery, but for the time being Bill and Chris will continue with their own creative pursuits. Bill’s work can be seen at bshelley.com and at Hammerfriar Gallery in Healdsburg. Chris’s work can be seen at chrisbeards.com and at Paul Mahder Gallery in Healdsburg.
Dance Party at Winterblast 2018
November 7, 2018
Nicole Irene Anderson / Avery Cauuwe
October 5 - November 2, 2018
Chris Beards / Bill Shelley
August 3 - September 7, 2018
Judson King Smith
June 1, July 6, 2018
Nancy H Dempster, Dayana Leon, Michael Risch
April 6 - May 4, 2018
Arminée Chahbazian & Ben Lastufka
February 2 - March 2, 2018
November 18, 2017
NOTE: “Somewhere Funner” does not promise fun.
“Somewhere Funner” was an installation/social media/photography/performance artwork conceived for Winterblast, a popular Santa Rosa SOFA Arts District street festival. A photo-booth was placed within Blasted Art Gallery. Guests were photographed in front of a “red carpet” style wall. Their photographs were uploaded in real time to Blasted Art Gallery’s Facebook page: facebook.com/blastedartgallery.
Outside of the gallery, a video monitor allowed the crowd to view a live-feed of people having a funner time, getting their pictures taken. Over the course of four hours, approximately 500 people were photographed.
This took place in an art gallery, so it must be art.
Where is the art?
What is the art?
Who is the artist?
“Somewhere Funner” was created by Bill Shelley & Chris Beards, November 2017
Setting up & testing photo booth:
4 hours of photographs condensed into 4½ minutes:
November 3 - 16, 2017
Installation view of Somewhere Else:
Our first promotional video:
Our second promotional video:
ABOUT THE WORK
Art can take you somewhere else, serving as a window into different realms. But “somewhere else” is a matter of perspective. With no objective point from which to observe, we realized that the concept for this installation was open-ended. The title of the show wasn’t limited to describing “over there,” but applied to “everywhere.”
This installation was conceived after the devastation of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. As our planning continued, our area suffered disastrous wildfires, which touched the lives of many. Our project then took on a local immediacy. Some viewers of this work may feel a sense of devastation. Others may see an expansion of space, allowing for mourning, contemplation and hope.
Visitors typically enter an art gallery with expectations of white walls, a hushed quiet, and well lit artwork. We are intentionally upending some of those expectations through light, color, and sound. The viewer stands upon the artworks’ color, blurring the line between the viewer and the artwork.
With a desire to make a unique contribution to Santa Rosa’s SOFA Arts District, we are introducing Blasted Art Gallery with an installation that provides the unexpected: transforming a familiar space into Somewhere Else.
– Chris Beards and Bill Shelley