Save ICE Gallery
- Visual Arts
ICE Gallery is an artist run experimental exhibition space located in the North Park area of San Diego, California. It exists for the sole purpose of being a solo exhibition space for the 4 artists involved; Michael James Armstrong, Thomas DeMello, Lee Lavy, and Joseph Huppert.
The ICE space provides a unique experience for us to experiment with and refine our respective artistic aspirations with complete freedom. No rigid exhibition schedules, no pressure to create saleable objects, no set hours, no wine, no cheese, etc. Our only consistent hindrance is finding a way to fund each exhibition out of pocket, but we all chip in monetarily and physically to help each others exhibitions become a reality. Having the full support of everyone involved allows for each of us to create projects that would otherwise, as an individual artist, be nearly unattainable.
For many years now ICE Gallery has been a low rent artist studio space in a high rent area. The reason it has been low rent is because the space is severely dilapidated and is just about to the point of condemnation. Perfect for artists who don’t make much money, in a town where most art studios rent for excessive amounts. It is a fairly large space and until recently the bad electricity and leaky roof has been tolerable. However, as of late, all of the buildings quirks have gone from mere idiosyncrasies to unbearable flaws that prevent us from inhabiting the space or continuing to have exhibitions.
Starting in July of 2010, myself and the other 3 artists I am associated with decided to take over half of the buildings recently vacated art studios and turn them into one large exhibition space for our own work. After many hours of renovation and a significant amount of money the result has been that we were able to mount 6 successful art exhibitions to date. These exhibitions, mostly site specific installations, have been very well received by the local art community, and have become an almost invaluable way of practicing and refining our respective artistic aspirations on our own terms.
The goal of our project is to continue this practice of self generated art exhibitions for at least the next 3 years. In order to achieve that goal our space needs some significant repairs. Not least of which is a new roof, as our current roof is nearly indefensible against rain. Also on the agenda is to expand the current exhibition space into the art studios at the rear of the building and make ICE one large and open exhibition space capable of holding more elaborate installations. We’ll also be repairing some of the buildings minor flaws along the way. Once these tasks are completed we plan on having 4 shows each year, with each artist getting 2 months to install and 1 month for public exhibition.