Tarnish&Gold gallery celebrates reopening and a new chapter

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November 21, 2011
By: Stephanie Audette
Stephanie Audette

SHERIDAN — A steady stream of people flowed through a former three-bedroom apartment on Friday night. Their interest? A newly remodeled space now home to a local art gallery and community space, Tarnish&Gold, which held its grand reopening Nov. 4.

Loyal supporters of the gallery, friends and others gathered for the event that featured a new exhibition by local artist Mike Carney.

Carney’s show, which will run through the end of the month, is called “Come Together, “ a title that refers to how he uses small clay pieces, hand-made and spray-painted individually, to form larger images.

With the 3-D pieces, Carney portrays the connection between life and death, hoping people will see a vividly colored celebration of life, inspired by “Dia de los muertos” or “Day of the Dead.”

The fitting title has come to embody more than just the theme of the art show. “His artist statement fit so perfectly with what we wanted to do at the new space,” Greta Seiffert said, referring to the gallery’s return to Northeast Minneapolis, joining other like-minded businesses. Seiffert is the gallery’s director of public relations and events.

After Tarnish&Gold moved from its old location, it continued to put on art events over the summer, such as a one-year birthday party, held at the Nomad World Pub in Minneapolis. The gallery finally found a home in September, when it was moved into the same building with a group of businesses that are as eclectic as the art Tarnish&Gold showcases.

The Foundry building, located at 349 13th Ave. NE in northeast Minneapolis, just down the street from the 331 bar, provides a unique, if challenging new space for the gallery. Seiffert notes that the new space may be able to host a few acoustic musicians, but won’t be the music venue that their original space on Marshall Street was.

A departure from the original space, Tarnish&Gold’s new home is a decidedly cozier space, allowing visitors to get up close and personal, literally, with the art — and the artist. As one of their new initiatives, Seiffert and LaFlash have decided to start hosting workshops, led by the artists showing in the new space. “A traditional art gallery is so hands-off,” Seiffert explained. “There’s this gap between the artist and the viewer.”

An attempt to bridge that gap, these artist-led workshops will be another way for Tarnish&Gold to establish its presence in the community. “We’re going to have each artist hold a workshop in the space and then possibly bring those workshops into the art classes at North,” Seiffert said, talking about the non-profit’s partnership with radio station Jazz 88.5 KBEM.

Another positive to the new, smaller space? It allows the directors to focus on their original mission to “support the underdog,” booking more solo shows than they did at the old space, with those lesser-known artists who “may only have 10 pieces,” Seiffert explained.

Seiffert founded Tarnish&Gold in May 2010 with friends Caitlin LaFlash and Carly Baker. Seiffert holds a degree in public relations, while LaFlash earned hers in art history at the University of Minnesota. Baker has since moved to Wyoming, but is still consulted on major decisions involving the gallery, Seiffert said.

The young entrepreneurs’ initial focus in founding Tarnish&Gold was to serve as more than an art gallery to the community. Seeing a need for something different in the Minneapolis art scene, the founders decided they wanted to bring together all forms of artistic expression, from music to dance to multimedia.

“We’re targeting a different artist and discovering that new talent, because there’s just so much of it here,” Seiffert said. That includes artists such as Carney, who had a piece in the gallery’s first opening in 2010, and is back for the next step in the gallery’s journey.

Tarnish&Gold will continue to support the “underdog” artist, but its owners have adjusted their pricing from a flat rate to include a small commission. “We wanted to take more responsibility in the art we show,” Seiffert explained. “This new business model gives us a sense of ownership.”

So what’s next for Tarnish&Gold? The artist-led workshops are something they would really like to see happen, Seiffert said. Live art demonstrations, such as the one on Friday, by muralist Scott Ray, are also on the horizon. Maybe even some outdoor yoga “out on the deck in the summer months,” Seiffert mused.

In the meantime, the gallery has its show for December booked and “stacks of submissions to go through,” though nothing is set yet for 2012.

Stephanie Audette is a student at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Tarnish&Gold’s hours are:  Wednesday-Thursday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Mike Carney exhibition runs through Nov. 26. For more information on the show or how you can submit your own work, check out the gallery’s website at tarnishandgold.wordpress.com/press/.
Editor’s note
The Journal is part of a pilot program of the Murphy News Service — a new program of the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism and Mass Communication connecting student reporters with newspapers throughout the state.