Mar 12, 2017 | Gray Space, Studio Notebook

I remember a conversation, not so long ago, I had with Kathleen Caprario. We both expressed the isolation we were feeling as artists living in Eugene, with its lack of contemporary art venues and support, and how tired we were of feeling so isolated. Since moving here in 2008, I have frequently questioned whether I should stay here or relocate to a city with a vibrant and thriving contemporary art scene. After our conversation, I did what I usually do: I went back to my studio to make things in isolation. But Kathleen did something different. Last summer she invited some artists she wanted to know better to meet on a Saturday morning.  Most of us who met at that first meeting are now collaborating with Gray Space.

Kathleen was the common link between us. I had met some of the artists through a few exhibitions I had been in, and I had heard the names of others, but I really knew none of them aside from Kathleen. We met without an agenda other than to simply meet and talk. Not certain if anything would come of this group, I left feeling more optimistic than I had in a while, yet I still carried much trepidation with me that it would be short-lived.

The second time we met I knew that something interesting and tangible could come of this group. Kate Ali proposed her idea of a micro/mobile gallery and the group quickly became energized and soon began buzzing with questions and ideas.

We have met almost every month since that first meeting. As I get to know the Gray Space artists, my respect for each of them and the work they do has grown exponentially. This is an amazing group of people who all happen to also be excellent artists.

Thanks to Kate we have a solid idea to work with, not to mention well-run and focused meetings. Renee has already put in a lot of time into trying to get our ideas out there and seen, even before we have had anything to be seen. But she did not hesitate to act as if one day we will have something, and when we do, it will be worth being seen. Everybody continues to show up and to offer their thoughts, ideas, time. As we are honing our ideas, creating our artwork plus our own venue to show our artwork, our camaraderie increases. Isolation is rapidly losing its grasp as we pick up momentum. Kathleen, your idea is already a success!

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