Pretension Gallery Tees Up Next 'Insider Trading' Event

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The fourth installment of Pretension Gallery’s Insider Trading series takes place from 6 p.m. until 2 a.m. this Saturday, Jan. 23, in Slavic Village. This year’s event will be held in a vacant storefront, converted into a pop-up art gallery for this one-night-only, special event. Sounds pretty normal, right? Well, Pretension isn’t your average gallery and Insider Trading is unlike any other show in town.

This year, more than 40 artists will swap work during this one night only event. None of the works on the walls are for sale. Instead, the artists each draw a name of another artist and everyone leaves with a different piece than they came with. If an artist draws their own name, they get to “steal” any piece in the show. It’s the art community’s version of White Elephant.

"Pretension Gallery is a vision more than a physical space itself,” explains Anthony Koch, who co-founded Pretension with his friend Steve McIntosh. “Its vision is that art can be viewed casually and comfortably, with friends and strangers alike without the stuffiness of a more ‘traditional’ art exhibit. It is a notion that artwork does not necessarily have to cost a first born child and that making it for others is just as, if not more rewarding than making it for profit. It is an avenue that anyone can travel, from the hobbyist to the professional.”

Describing the Insider Trading series, Koch ellaborates, “The Insider Trading series put on by Pretension Gallery is an annual event open to all artists. A pop-up of sorts, art is shown for one night only and we try our best to host it in a different location each year. The concept during the night is rather simple, if you make a piece for the show, you'll leave with another. None of the trade pieces are sold to the public. However, an ‘artist only’ trade is held during the night. Each artist chooses from a ‘hat,’ and whatever they pull out is what they receive. Post-raffle trades are encouraged if you feel someone would appreciate your piece more.”

Each incarnation of Pretension Gallery’s Insider Trading series has a unique theme; only revealed to artists after they have agreed to participate. This year’s theme is “The Unconscious Mind.”

Pre-installation view of Insider Trading IV: The Unconscious Mind. 'Brains' by Pretension Gallery co-founders Anthony Koch and Steve McIntosh.
  • Pre-installation view of Insider Trading IV: The Unconscious Mind. 'Brains' by Pretension Gallery co-founders Anthony Koch and Steve McIntosh.
“Our reasoning behind this night was to give the novice artist a concept to work from,” Koch reflects. “Chatting with friends, we often found they wanted to make something but they just didn't know what. Talking with some veteran artists, we found that while some may have perfected their own craft, they wanted to branch out but had trouble releasing from what they know so well. This show encourages new artists to participate and veterans to attempt or refine new styles. Participants must sign up and will only receive the theme after they have given us their word that they will participate.”

Participating artists include: Kate Bennis, Abbey Blake, Angela Bohley, TJ Corrigan, Justin Cownden, Gabby Cryer, Rachel Delfing, Alan Dunn, Amber Esner, Keith Ten Eyck, Todd Feichtmeier, Anthony Franchino, Grace Frank, Pat Franklin, John G., Andy Gabriel, Trisha Gay, Allyson Humbert, Pat Jenkins, Jim Karpinski, Beth Kelly, Sean Kelly, Anthony Koch, Christophe Kochheiser, Ryan Kral, Stephanie Lazorchak, Steve Macadams, Dan Malone, Herald Martin, Steve McIntosh, Brandon Miller, Angela Oster, Lisa P., Bob Peck, Elyse Perry, Ali Phillips, Ashley Ribblett, Jess Richey, Christine Rupnik, Cody Sanders, Mike Sobeck, Phoebe Thomas, Kyle Webb and Chris Weth.

“Shows are open entry to anyone who is willing to give up some hours of their life to trade a piece of art to someone who might be a total stranger,” Koch says. “Artwork can be of any type as long as it meets the listed size restrictions and falls within the theme provided on a show-by-show basis.”

The event includes a raffle for the general public, refreshments and live music from DJs Geronamo, Krash Helmut and Matt Casio and performances by Conner Joseph McCready and Nick Brilla.

“Additionally, we have a separate raffle for the general public,” Koch says. “There are usually 3-5 pieces of artwork and tickets are $5 each. This allows the patrons to leave with a piece as well. This particular show has been sponsored by the sunglasses company Rec Rays (RecRaysSunglasses.com). Winning Rec Rays packages will include a beer koozie, sitckers and one pair of glasses (retail $150 - $200).”

Pretension Gallery is actively searching for next year’s venue. If you’d like to discuss potentially hosting the Insider Trading series (or to sign up as an artist), contact the gallery at pretensiongallery@gmail.com

(Pretension Gallery) 6304 Fleet Ave., pretensiongallery.wix.com/pretensiongallery

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