By Kathy Chouteau
Bridge Storage and ArtSpace’s Holiday Open House and Block Party on Saturday touted “The More the Merrier” as its art exhibition mantra, and a packed house of art aficionados from Richmond and beyond responded in kind.
Situated off-the-beaten-path at 23 Main Ave., Bridge’s eclectic indoor-outdoor oasis in the Santa Fe neighborhood offered the ideal spot for the holiday merriment that was on full display Saturday. From a drum performance, to an art reception, to film & video screenings, to live music and other activities, art was abounding in its many forms and community members of all ages were happily taking it in.
“This started as the reception for this group art exhibit called ‘The More the Merrier,’ and we thought we’d add this vendor market to make it more fun and then we added in the film screenings,” said Iris AlRoy, Bridge’s marketing director, about the event. “Basically it’s a holiday party and we’re allowing people to come in and check out Bridge—maybe they don’t know we have co-working or a film studio—and just enjoy themselves. We just wanted to invite people in to have a party.”
Bridge’s holiday fun kicked off with family friendly, hands-on demos and activities in the morning, followed by a live group percussion performance by Tatsumaki Taiko.
The doors to Bridge’s art gallery swung open at 3 p.m., where visitors could peruse the creations of numerous artisan vendors, as well as the aforementioned art exhibition featuring the selected works of tenants (with studios at Bridge), staff and co-workers. A few eye-catching works included Shawn Man Roland’s acrylic & latex on plaster “Rumination QR,” Fortune Sitole’s mixed media “Two Women Hanging Out in Khayelitsha,” Chris Peterson’s oil on canvas “MOND AN-EX,” and Laura Johnson’s decoupage on cigar boxes. The show will run until Jan. 4.
As for the artisan vendors, Paquerette Clark—along with her daughter, Corita Clark—was selling ceramic pinch pots featuring upcycled Bay Area beach glass and also beautiful tree cards, while her mother, Yvette Blancher, sold mosaic work and Corita’s ceramic hearts and stars at an adjacent table. Just past Yvette, and proving the family is well-rounded in its talent, her son, James Blancher, sold some good looking bonsai trees.
Nearby, Lisa Carver of Sew Long Marianne, sold her wonderful “handmade modern vintage” bags with vibrant patterns; Lani Ca of STRAWBERRYMILKMADE sold a variety of bright and eclectic pins; and Ilah Jarvis sold cheeky stuffed birds and soaps. Judith Irwin of Wonder Woman Gardening was selling an array of wreaths, garlands, air plants and fairy houses that seemed to be garnering a lot of attention, while Artrenia Harris of Selective Treasures was offering her beautiful fashion jewelry for sale. And this is just to name a handful of the talented artists with works on display!
Rounding out the day was a free screening of “Romeo is Bleeding,” a biographical film featuring Richmond poet and actor Donté Clark, as well as various video screenings onsite.
If Saturday’s festivities were any indication, Bridge is solidifying its place as an essential destination for art gatherings, exhibitions, screenings and the like in the greater Richmond community. And according to AlRoy, stay tuned for even more upcoming offerings from Bridge, including a commercial kitchen.
To learn more about any of the artisan vendors, artwork or for additional info, contact Bridge at 510.233.3348 or visit www.bridgestorage.com.