Sixth Street Popup + Gallery

How do you open a small gallery space with smiling happy people?
YashicaGX_April2015004The answer would seem to be, make it a community event and engage people through social media, which sounds simple enough but doesn’t guarantee success. Oh, and beer. There was beer from Steel and Oak Brewing; that probably helps. YashicaGX_April2015010 Sixth Street Popup + Gallery opened on April 9, 2015 with a show simply titled #thenewwestproject Volume 1 .  They had invited people to tag their New Westminster related Instagram photographs with that hash tag over the previous weeks.  Selected images were then printed to be sold at very democratic prices with a portion going back to the artists.    The feel good nature of seeing their images displayed publicly and selling permeated the room. The images of various sizes were curated and priced so well in fact that a good portion of them had sold by the end of the night.
I arrived half way through the evening and it was still jam packed with people spilling out onto the sidewalk.
The eclectic mix of humanity gleaned from Instagram staved off the danger of collapsing into a hipster black hole of irony.  There is clearly a nucleus of people in New West in addition to its proximity to Skytrain to support a space like this.  The Gallery nature is only one aspect. As the name suggests they will also be making an effort to bring in other ventures and shops for short terms.    I spoke to Julia Dewhurst, one of the individuals behind the Sixth Street Popup + Gallery, and her mother Jenn, and their love for art was apparent. I look forward to seeing what else may come to this space. If their launch is any indication that too will be exciting and successful.

On a more personal note I remember as a child growing up in Richmond that we would load the entire family up on a weekend to head to New Westminster to go to the Army and Navy store. As a child it seemed enormous and magical with strange things to discover.  I don’t think I had ever heard the word mall at this point let alone gone to one.  This relates to the Sixth Street Popup + Gallery in the way that I think they add much to the rejuvenated appeal of New West making it a place you want to be.  I wish them all the best.

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