The gallery space… I mean, the awesome gallery space… I mean, excuse me, the underused, underexposed, underappreciated 4,000-square-foot gallery space at Read’s will be open to the public for an “Artists Choose Artists” exhibit from 6-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 10. I almost don’t want to ask why and just be glad that there’s something going on there.
The Ground Floor Gallery is intended as the collective space for the artists who live above. Read’s, after all, is the former downtown department store that was turned into artist’s lofts and a dysfunctional colony of artists.
Unfortunately for the artists — and this could explain why the gallery is usually locked up — they can’t sell their art on the premises. House rules. Strange too, since the ground floor was originally built for commerce. Hats, ties and gloves were available on the ground floor or Read’s, I believe, for 60 years.
Back to today. Self-guided tours of the lofts will be held the following Saturday, Nov. 13, from noon to 4 p.m.
This exhibit is an invitational event about “creation, collaboration, and connectivity,” organizers say. Resident artists select a partner from the art community at large to share their space and stories. “The pairing of pieces in ‘Artists Choose Artists’ speaks to our own unique fascination, understanding, and the power of artistic works on artists and non-artists alike.”
The exhibition opening will also feature a performance by musician Chris Cavaliere.
For the tour, resident artists will open their doors upstairs and inviting the public into their residential work spaces. I have to tell you, these lofts are amazing. Not that they’re ultra luxe or anything, but they’re very well designed and super-cool. High ceilings, concrete floors, well-proportioned rooms. If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to get invited to a party there, you see those lofts make terrific spaces for entertaining as well.
And mainly, the lofts not only saved the beautiful Read’s Department Store on Broad and John streets downtown, but they gave it life and purpose.
THIS JUST IN: THE ARTFUL GIFT TRAIL
More on the gift trail later, when they get their website up, but Read’s is participating.
Special Gallery Events & Hours
The Big Fall Show at Read’s ArtSpace.
A collection of new work, plus live music and performances from the Resident Artists of Read’s ArtSpace
*Saturday – December 5th*
4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Featuring live music by
THE STEPKIDS 7:00-8:00 p.m.
with visual effects by Dustmagnet
Coordinating with Bridgeport Tree Lighting, McLevy Green, 5:00-7:00 pm
Additional Gallery Hours:
*Sunday – December 6th*
12:00 – 4:00 p.m.