Northeast spotlight: A space for the surreal

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December 7, 2009 // UPDATED 10:40 am - December 7, 2009
By: Kathryn Holahan
Kathryn Holahan

A space for the surreal

Eight black letters set against a bright pink wooden plank in Northeast lead pedestrians into a world that is unreal. At the Pink Hobo Art Gallery, candy-colored monsters chew on buildings and cartoon masks line the wall inside 507 E. Hennepin Ave.

“Canyon Land,” the latest show at the gallery, maintains the offbeat artistic quality unique to Puny Entertainment, the business that is both literally and figuratively behind the gallery. Vincent Stall, 45, and business partner Shad Petosky, 35, run the gallery and Puny Entertainment.  

“I think it was a natural progression out of Puny,” Stall said about the 7-month-old gallery.

The gallery and its name are the result of a “happy accident,” Stall said. By rearranging the letters from the sign for Lien’s Bookshop, the building’s former tenant, Stall and Petosky realized “Pink Hobo” would be the name for the space Puny Entertainment began renting a year and a half ago.

“It’s a good space,” Stall said. Before the gallery had its smooth, white walls, it was covered in cedar shingles. Now that the shingles have been cleared out, Stall walks around the clean gallery admiring both the space and the location.

“It’s just a really good area,” he said. “Here on the weekends, it feels alive again.”

Since its opening, the gallery has hosted a variety of shows, one of which took 36-hours to set up. It included the art of Yo Gabba Gabba!, the twice Emmy nominated show that PUNY Entertainment animates.

Other shows featured paper art and pine wood derby art cars, which the artists raced during the opening.

“It’s the full gamut,” Stall said about the artwork featured at the gallery. “The theme is what we’re interested in, which tends to change.”

Pink Hobo has featured approximately 180 local artists, Stall said. The artwork ranges as much in price as it does in mediums, with screen prints and installations varying in price from $10 up to $200. Each show lasts for about a month before the next is put up, Stall said.

The most recent show, “Canyon Land,” opened Nov. 28 and will remain at the gallery until the holiday season. The result of Stall’s imagination, “Canyon Land” is a collection whose idea was conceived when he witnessed his father’s death several years ago.

“It’s the wish that you want something better for somebody,” Stall said. “You make up this afterlife for someone and then it’s just spending time there.”

To see “Canyon Land,” stop by the gallery weekdays between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Pink Hobo Art Gallery
Where: 507 E. Hennepin Ave.
Hours: 11 a.m.–7 p.m. weekdays
Phone: 216-3924

(Note: This article has been revised to correct information about the creator of Yo Gabba Gabba!)