By Angel Mai
Nov. 1, 2017
Tugboat Gallery is hosting Keep Tugboat Afloat on Friday from 7-10 p.m. The silent auction and fundraiser aims to raise enough money to keep the gallery going another three years.
The gallery opened in 2005 at the alley entrance of the original location of Gomez Art Supply at 1028 O St., by Jake Gillespie, Peggy Gomez and Joey Lynch, who organized a “one night only” exhibit in the basement of the building. With people lining up through the alley and around the corner, these volunteers knew they needed a gallery like Tugboat.
After a year, Gomez Art Supply relocated to its present location at 120 N. 14th St., Parrish building in the heart of downtown in 2006, bringing along the gallery. While Gillespie and Lynch moved away, Nolan Tredway joined the Tugboat team in 2008 after the renovation of the second story of the Parrish was complete. Lisa Guevara is their newest partner, having been with the gallery for about a year.
Tugboat is a non-commission gallery, completely run by volunteers. Gomez is thankful for all the work involved and notes that she wouldn’t be able to do it alone.
“We have two fabulous interns, Kyle Choy and Kat Hedges,” Gomez said. “Drew Nelson, who created the Tugboat website, volunteers his time to update our website. We all keep the gallery going by curating shows, doing wall preparation, hanging posters, sweeping and mopping, and all the behind-the-scenes stuff that is not so glamorous.”
She credits Parrish owner Jim Stevens for leading the renovation of the second floor, insisting on creative-minded tenants, which now fill the space.
The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 12-5 p.m. on Saturdays, existing solely on donations.
“Each piece that has been donated is wonderful,” said Gomez. “We appreciate the generosity of the artists who are asked so often to donate their artwork. The last time we had a fundraiser was 3 years ago.”
Art by Brian Andrew Coate.
Artists who are contributing to the benefit include Joey Lynch, Jake Gillespie, Nolan Tredway, Lisa Guevara, Craig Roper, Sandra Williams, Jim Bockelman, Lana Miller, Hannah Demma, Peggy Gomez, Pepe Fierro, Ashley Goodwin, Anthony Hawley, Zora J Murff, Rana Young, Matel Rokke, Michael Burton, Trudie Teijink, Larry Buller, Amanda Smith, Chadric Devin, Kristin Mahan, Kat Hedges, Brian Coate, Thalia Rodgers and more. There will be a wall full of artwork that will be on sale for only $25 each while the rest of the gallery will have pieces with starting bids between $30 and $500.
Tugboat’s goal as a non-commission gallery is to exhibit high quality, exciting artwork by emerging artists as well as established professionals. They want to keep showing relevant work as well as continue to give artists an opportunity to show their experimental, performance based, ephemeral work.
The gallery has set shows for the next few months, including 12 tattoo artists who will be showing work in December. They will show many kinds of art mediums such as ancient water color, acrylics, and even leather jackets that one of the artists have designed. January will feature art from the Live Yes Studios, which will include acrylic, watercolor, sculpture, embroidery, and colored pencil. February will feature artists from Des Moines with their installations, sculptures, and paintings. There is a show proposal for March that would feature architecture grad students who would create a relief sculpture, although it’s still pending. April will feature artists Kendall Johnson, Chadric Devin and Madison Svendgard through their photography, printmaking, drawing and paintings. .
Editor’s note: Tugboat Gallery and Gomez Art Supply are current underwriters of KZUM.
Angel Mai is an editorial intern with KZUM.