Tiny gallery hosts big show

David Taber

Gazette Photo by David Taber
Artists from the artists’ collective Rifrakt at the April 1 opening of its group show at the Hallway Gallery, 66a South St.

He says he doesn’t plan to make a habit of it, but Hallway Gallery proprietor Brent Refsland is taking the month off, sort of.

The owner of the long narrow gallery at 66a South St has, for the month of April, handed the space over to Rifrakt, a 10-person local collective of emerging artists.

The artists work in a variety of medias ranging “from photography and printmaking to painting, drawing and film,” according to a press release from the group. The works are all a response to the show’s title, “Interaction.”

The group will also host a series of music and spoken-word events at the gallery throughout the month. [See Happenings.]

Rifrakt is a unique spelling of the word “refract,” which is defined on the group’s web site as, “To alter by viewing through a medium.” The group does not have a particular aesthetic. “We all use different mediums and different techniques within mediums,” said Stephanie Goode, a founding member of the collective. “It’s more of a strength in numbers thing,” she said.

The group, which meets bi-monthly, is a source of support and critiques for members, co-founder Carolyn Hulbert said. For some of the members, the month at the Hallway is their first gallery showing, she said. The Hallway show is at least one of the members’ first public showings, she said.

Refsland, who was about to start hanging the works when the Gazette spoke to him, said Rifrakt is a “very diverse group of artists with their own eyes and their own styles…There are some great photos and collages. There are a few paintings.”

At least one painting was still due to be delivered in the evening “because the painting is still drying,” he said.

One interactive work by artist Anna Mayo, invites viewers to fill in a chart listing their parents’ occupations and their own occupations to “see where artists come from,” Refsland said.

At the show opening on April 1, Mayo told the Gazette she plans to use the information she gathers for a future phase of the work. She is collecting the same information from others outside of the studio and she is curious to see if patterns will emerge, she said.

Refsland said having the collective take over the gallery for a month is a relief for him, especially since he is getting married in May. He said he has shows booked for the next six months.

The Hallway Gallery, 66a South St. Regular Hours: Thurs.-Sun.,
11a.m.-7p.m. Info: 818-5996.

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