Sharon Arnold has a problem: too much art, too little space.
We're standing in what will soon be Bridge Productions—a white-walled, black-floored room in a former Georgetown flophouse—surrounded by works for the inaugural exhibit, TECTONIC (featuring Julie Alpert, Tim Cross, Sue Danielson, Emily Gherard, C. Davida Ingram, Dave Kennedy, Kat Larson, Ashleigh Robb, and Krista Svalbonas). At our feet are two prints by Kennedy, stark white against the floor. They're highly flattened, zoomed-in photographs of quotidian objects—corrugated roofing, worn wood—lifted out of context and floating on glaringly white copy paper.
“I've only got space for one—but they're both awesome," says Bridge curator and owner Arnold. I see her sizing up the walls, counting inches in her head.
She'll need to pack work by nine artists—her starting 2016 roster—into the one-room operation.
If the combination of Arnold + Hamilton Work Studios in Georgetown + curated box sets = deja vu, you're not wrong: she's setting up Bridge across the hall—and one year removed from—her original project space, LxWxH. As Bridge Productions she'll represent a tight roster of regional artists—including pattern-master Julie Alpert and video experimentalist Kat Larson—and feature exhibits by guest artists and curators, such as C. Davida Ingram, whose name alone should convince you to make the trip. And, rejoice! Arnold's much-loved curated box sets series is being revived.
““I'm happy with the work accomplished at LxWxH, but I think it fell short on many levels. This time I hope to broaden the scope of what I represent, while focusing more thoughtfully on a particular vision,' says Arnold. “The in-between spaces connecting ideas, people, and perspectives are the most interesting to me, and where I think creativity flourishes best.”
Arnold—a writer, gallerist, curator and artist—spent 2015 as a partner at Roq La Rue gallery with founder Kirsten Anderson, but dissolved that partnership at the beginning of 2016 in favor of going solo once more.
“When I closed LxWxH I had to keep explaining that I hadn't failed—I was finished, and ready to move on and form this partnership with Kirsten. Now, I'm having to reassure people that I haven't failed or quit at Roq La Rue. It's about timing and opportunity. Seattle has a lot of momentum and few exhibition opportunities. ”
Room by room, gallerists in Georgetown are trying to add those opportunities, whether it's Arnold, her building-mates The Alice and Interstitial Theatre, Krab Jab or Guest Shed. It should be gratifying to see Arnold devote her formidable energies to promoting regional artists who galvanize her, as she builds Bridge and joins the simmering scene down south.
Well, re-joins. And, you know, a scene she helped kickstart. And then left. And then came back. Whatever.