As Lakewood's Breakneck Gallery (17020 Madison Ave., 216-767-5610, breakneckgallery.com) prepares for two one-night-only shows this weekend, owners Sean and Kristen Burns announced an online fundraising campaign to meet the gallery's operating fees. With a modest goal of just $2,000, the smallest donation can make a big difference right now.
"We never got into this expecting to make much money, but for our love of art and its community," the couple explains. "We have poured our hearts and souls into this place for the past three years without ever worrying about making a profit, just enough to keep it open and have it exist as a place for new and fringe artists and artisans to show their work. What we found in opening this place was a great community of local artists and art lovers and would hate to see it just become another empty storefront on Madison. Unfortunately, Breakneck Gallery may be shutting its doors at the end of the year unless we are able to raise the funds to keep the lights on and the rent paid. Please help us keep supporting our local artists. Even if you can only donate a dollar, every little bit helps!"
For more info on the fundraising effort, visit gofundme.com/hjf0ng.
From 6 to 10 p.m. this Friday, Dec. 5, Breakneck hosts Nuts, Bolts & the '90s, a one-night-only exhibition celebrating the five-year anniversary of local artist Sleepy Robot 13 (a.k.a. Lisastarchild Pinkston). She's been sculpting since she was 8 years old, but this anniversary marks five years since she returned to art after a five-year hiatus that involved two "real world" jobs. Breakneck presented her first solo show, Do You Even Robot?, back in 2013. That show featured 117 unique, handmade robot figurines. For this exhibition, the artist's goal is to create over 200 figurines inspired by '90s pop culture.
"I am an avid toy collector and find inspiration in today's vinyl and resin art toy movement," explains Pinkston. "Sleepy Robot 13 is a handmade business I started in late 2009 via Etsy. At the time I had just lost my job and my mother. I was going through a deep depression. I started the company as a way to make a little money while I looked for a new job. Thanks to the success of Sleepy Robot 13, in a little over six months I was able to stop my job search, overcome my depression and focus on crafting full time."
Somewhat appropriately, Nuts, Bolts & the '90s began with a successful crowdfunding campaign similar to what Breakneck is currently attempting.
"Paying for everything out of pocket for last year's show left me two months behind on my rent and dangerously close to having my power shut off," says Pinkston. "I'd like to avoid that this time around."
Stop by again the next night, Saturday, Dec. 6, from 6 to 10 p.m. for You Better Watch Out, a themed group show featuring artwork inspired by Krampus, described by Breakneck as "everyone's favorite Christmas demon." It's sure to be the most unique holiday show of the season.
There's plenty of other fun happening in the neighborhood this weekend and beyond: Saturday evening, stop by the Good Goat Gallery (17012 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 440-799-0675, thegoodgoatgallery.com) for its latest themed group exhibition, Frozen in Time, in the newly renovated and expanded space. The show features dioramas and shadow boxes created by about two dozen local artists. The artists' reception is 4 to 9:30 p.m.
Next weekend, Dec. 12 and 13, stop back for the Madison Arts District's (M.A.D) Merry Makers: A Holiday Happening, a collaborative effort between Breakneck and Good Goat Gallery. The event will feature dozens of vendors selling handmade gifts for the holidays. Hours are 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Also on Saturday, Dec. 13, from 6 to 10 p.m., Breakneck hosts a reception for their Fourth Annual $50 Holla-Day Show, featuring an eclectic variety of work by local artists — each priced at just $50. First come, first served, so get there early for the best selection.