By Jacob Cutler
Piano Craft Gallery located in the South End of Boston is a gallery space that rents out to various dealers, curators, and artist collectives. Its most recent show was a “featured artists” exhibition by 1Percent Gallery that closed on July 30. It featured artists of all mediums from painting and sculpture to textiles and prints with a focus on connecting artists from different worlds and creating a space in which these worlds collide and complement each other.
As intriguing as the art was, the more interesting aspect of the show was the gallery putting it on. 1Percent Gallery is an online gallery that represents artists from all disciplines. They represent visual artists, musicians, fashion designers and skateboarders. As it doesn’t have its own permanent space, 1Percent Gallery travels from gallery to gallery and completely transforms the room. Its mission can be summed up into three words: “Redefining Undefined Space.” While their latest exhibition took place in a traditional art space, 1Percent will fill any open space that they can find. This method allows for it to change how art is consumed in Boston. They want to show that art can be seen in places other than Newbury Street and Harrison Avenue.
With this being said, their other main mission is to curate environments where younger people can experience art. Both of the owners of 1Percent Gallery remember when they were in college and would go to galleries but wouldn’t feel like they belonged. Targeted towards older crowds that were serious buyers, the galleries were prim and proper and had the art to match it. 1Percent Gallery specifically puts on exhibitions with their prior experiences in mind. Every aspect of their exhibits is carefully chosen to make the environment more open to younger art lovers. The biggest way in which they do this is by hosting events such as fashion shows, music events and other interactive experiences. This allows 1 Percent to mix different forms of art to show the intersectionality that exists in the world of art. Their most recent event was a fashion show on July 14 that featured clothing by Ira Gorbman. This show allowed viewers to see how visual art and clothing interacted in the same space.
1Percent Gallery also chooses to work with artists that make art with the intention of create connections to those who are viewing the art. One of the artists featured in their exhibition, Rashad Nelson, created acrylic paintings of various combinations of colors. Nelson is connected to the streetwear culture and commonly frequents Bodega, a local streetwear store in Boston. Each painting is of colorways that were proposed to him by the people that he has met and befriended from the Bodega scene. Hence why the names of the pieces are specific people’s names. This allows his two worlds to combine. By giving a non-artist a say in the creative process, it allows him to draw connections between fine arts and streetwear culture. This decision process is an example of how the art world can expand to more groups of people, and in the process, allowing the art community to grow and diversify.
This collision of worlds is what 1Percent Gallery strives for. Regardless of what they are showing, they want it to be seen by those who would not normally go to see art. In some cases, the viewers see the art and buy it straight off the wall. However, they know that everyone are not able to buy an original piece. A section of the gallery space is a dedicated gift shop. They sell prints but 1Percent also sells their own line of clothing, amongst other items.
For updates on upcoming 1Percent Gallery events and exhibitions, follow it on instagram @1percentgallery and visit 1percentgallery.com.