Picks :: Giving all artists a voice

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July 19, 2010
By: Gregory J. Scott
Gregory J. Scott
As an art history student at the University of Minnesota, Caitlin LaFlash had a deep interest in the world of museums and fine art. Toward the end of her college years, LaFlash started to feel many of the museums she cherished ran on financial motives instead of the artistic passion she felt.

“It was quite disheartening to realize, but I would say it was more motivating,” LaFlash said.

Collaborating with two friends, Greta Seiffert and Carly Baker, LaFlash translated her motivation to Tarnish and Gold, an art gallery located in Northeast focused on giving a platform for the expression of all creative minds, regardless of experience or even art form. The mission of the gallery is simple — supporting local artists.

“I redirected my energy of how I felt to making a change by concentrating on opening a gallery with the one goal of supporting local, independent artists,” LaFlash said.

Seiffert, co-owner of Tarnish and Gold, along with Baker and LaFlash, said the gallery’s goal is to attract artists that may be turned away at other galleries due to having a name that is unfamiliar to the Twin Cities artistic community. “We are opening this up to those artists that have all these paintings in their basement that nobody knows about,” Seiffert said.

To attract these artists, Seiffert said the gallery had to be affordable for up and coming artists.  

In order to accomplish this, Seiffert said only a flat rate will be charged to display the artist’s work, leaving 100 percent profits of a sale with the artist.

Tarnish and Gold’s Northeast location features a vast, open space surrounded by walls that display the current exhibit at the gallery. The openness of the location is by design, according to LaFlash who said Tarnish and Gold serves as a community space where a social aspect exists along with the art on the walls.

LaFlash said the gallery currently has ongoing yoga classes and will be starting the Tag Collective, which invites the public to work collectively on a specific artistic idea using tools provided by the galley that people may not have regular access to.

“This is not a gallery where you will be confronted by bare white walls with a standard protocol of standing three feet away from the art with your arms crossed,” LaFlash said.

Seiffert said the layout of the building also allows for artistic expression of all kinds, be it music, poetry or film.  

“We are open to whoever wants to come in and do whatever it is,” Seiffert said. “We are just here to help them facilitate that activity.”

Later this month, Seiffert, LaFlash and Baker will help facilitate the “Art of Conflict,” an exhibit where American and Iraqi artists unite to present their works of art with the common theme of expressing identity in the times of the Iraqi-American conflict, according to Tricia Khutoretsky, project manager and curator of the exhibit taking place at Tarnish and Gold.

Khutoretsky said artistic work from 23 artists all varying in artistic background would be on display in a number of different mediums, including paintings, photography, sculpture and film.

“It gives people the opportunity to see something different coming from many different people,” Khutoretsky said. “Just the idea that multiple perspectives do exist.”

Khutoretsky said two of the eight contributing Iraqi artists and several American artists would be present at the opening ceremony that kicks off the exhibit on July 29, 7–10 p.m. The exhibit runs through the month of August with multiple events taking place throughout.

For an art exhibit featuring uncensored artistic expression, Khutoretsky said Tarnish and Gold was a perfect fit.  

“When I first met with them, I was told how they were looking to show all kinds of art,” Khutoretsky said. “They were so open in letting us do exactly what we wanted to.”

For more information on Tarnish and Gold go to tarnishandgold.org.

The Art of Conflict: Identity in War and Displacement
July 29–Aug. 28
Tarnish & Gold
1511 Marshall St. NE
Tuesday–Saturday, 3–8 p.m.