Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Another Gallery Closes: Bye-bye, eve N odd.

There have been several articles and blogs about the imminent closing of eve N odd gallery. Some of these people reporting on this had never set foot in the gallery or spoken with its owner until now. 

The City's artists and gallerists continue to endure very tough economic conditions, and many galleries hang by a thread or have closed. Now this.

 I came to eve N odd (not Eve n Odd) not long after it opened, about three years ago and was immediately struck by several things. A large part of the store carried the work of several artists -- and some crafts. Practically every inch of wall and floor space was taken up with these retail items to nearly eye level. On the wall above that was mostly Jennifer Kosharek's work, bright canvases with figurative images of personal symbolism painted on them. Instantly, I knew this was a unique space, the product of an unusual mind, and immediately began writing about it and its owner.

On the back wall, in a space about six by twelve feet, is where the shows were held. There was more wallspace in Mindy Solomon's closet in her old space on 2nd. Few gallerists would have imagined such a small space as viable for putting on shows, but Jennifer did. 

And what shows they were.

I was there back then, advertised and went to the shows, and reviewed them here (Google: Art Taco eve N odd and/or Jennifer Kosharek).  She blithely broke all the usual guidelines for gallerists and yet delivered (for the area) leading edge, creatively curated, outlier shows on a consistent basis. Jennifer's involvement with Mail Art/Fluxus/Vispo, whose elites are broadly distributed around the world and her considerable early web presencence globalized her view as a gallerist and resulted in many shows with an international flavor. Some were non-commercial (as in nothing for sale!). Several major artists in this niche actually came to Saint Petersburg and some performed (to ridiculously small audiences). 

Jennifer Kosharek was Art Taco's 2012 Person of the Year in the Arts. I wasn't the only one who noticed the quality of the shows. Many others did, including Mindy Solomon. It was a tumultuous year, and not just economically. One fine July day when Jennifer and I had traveled to Orlando for the Sketchbook show, while we walked around a tree shaded street, she confided in me that she thought she was pregnant. She was, and it is for this reason that eve N odd is closing.

She will be focusing on her baby (her fourth), and will continue to work on her excellent art. She will be teaching a class on mail art at The Morean soon, check on their website for details. It is a unique opportunity to learn about this from one of its luminaries.

 I think we will be seeing a lot more from Jennifer Kosharek and soon, but I will miss eve N oddand the memories of good times and brilliant shows there. I wish Jennifer nothing but the best.

--- Luis

PS. One of the great lessons eve N odd brought to us is how a micro-gallery space can achieve a significant presence in an area such as Saint Pete, and in genre, niche art forms. Yes, size matters, but as the trite saying goes, even more what you do with it. Kosharek's eve N odd showed us firsthand how far brilliance, hard work and a large, dripping wedge of daring can go.   

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