A Q&A with Pittsburgh’s Vestige Concept Gallery
RQ: How did you make the decision to do a storefront gallery?
Kelsey Dennis, co-owner and media director: Opening a storefront gallery was a convergence of both luck and the external environment. My partner and business owner Alexander Sands, an artist who used to exhibit regularly, grew frustrated with the lack of display opportunities after the fallout from the pandemic. In an attempt to create an opportunity, he was going to show works at a local pub, but it got cancelled due to city gathering restrictions enacted in December 2020. Around the same time, we found out that our friend had been trying to rent his vacant retail space, so we got to talking and hosted a one-time pop-up exhibition of Alex’s work. The show was well-received by those who attended, we had a lot of fun, and fell in love with the space. We just ended up staying and turned it into a gallery business. …
Our business model is a lot different, with a 30-day exhibit turnaround time—usually 30 or more artists per month—and it keeps the art fresh and the competition guessing. Our hope is that our determination inspires others to get out and start a business, but it’s hard work.
Ultimately, our goal is to bring more cultural awareness to our area. Another gallery or two in the neighborhood, and we could become something more akin to an “arts district.” //
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