Best Invitation-Only Art Gallery in a Warehouse 

The Warehouse Show

The Warehouse Show
Nov. 30, 2007-Jan. 17, 2008.
Eye Level Art Warehouse.

It takes some cajones to set up an invitation-only exhibit in the 'hood, but that's what the good people at Eye Level Art have done. The venue is on Hariot Street and you have to pass a tattoo parlor, a strip club, and a place that sells gravestones to get there. This is a case of necessity being the mother of invention. Eye Level's downtown space, in the French Quarter on Queen Street, is too small for large-scale works. With this new space, gallery owner Mike Elder can showcase large pieces by Bart Parnall ­­— an artist who uses expanding PVC foam to create three-dimensional "paintings" — pop artist Ishmael, and painter Tyler Blanton, among a handful of other artists. The presence of Ishmael gives you an idea of where this space is going: He wouldn't display in traditional venues; the warehouse is more suited to his underground sensibility. It wouldn't be surprising to see other galleries follow suit, expanding into alternative spaces to accommodate the varied tastes of their diverse clientele.

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