We have been so busy getting the new space going we have neglected this site! Here is a little rundown of where we are right now. More (MAJOR) updates coming very soon! Hope to soon you at the new venue for some of our amazing upcoming events.
By Nevonne McDaniels for The Wenatchee World
RadarStation has officially moved its 2-year-old “pop-surrealism and low brow” art gallery and gift shop out of Ron Evans’ East Wenatchee house and into downtown Wenatchee.
A grand opening is set for 4 to 9 p.m. Friday at the RadarStation’s new home, 115 S. Wenatchee Ave., in the former Material Things space, next to Davis Furniture. The opening features a solo exhibition by local artist Shen Leidigh titled “Millennial Mythology.”
“Leidigh’s art is heavy on illustration and allegory,” Evans said of Leidigh’s work in ink, watercolors and oils. “It is a vibrant, colorful show.”
Friday’s open house is part of the monthly Wenatchee First Friday Art Walk. Leidigh’s work will remain center stage at RadarStation throughout the month, with the work of another 20 artists displayed in the space as well, Evans said.
Exhibitions in the coming months will feature everything from Bigfoot to cheese.
The working slogan for the gallery is “Weirdos need art, too,” Evans said. “Every time I try to describe the kind of stuff we do at RadarStation, the word ‘weird’ just seems to work.”
RadarStation caters to art beyond landscapes and portraits. “It’s something outside the mainstream,” he said.
The move to the new 2,000-square-foot venue was possible thanks to an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that raised $15,000.
“That’s what got the ball rolling,” Evans said. “The rest was our own money and now we’re shifting to private investors.”
He signed a long-term lease on the building in March and started preparing for the move. His vision is to create an art hub that includes the gallery and gift shop as well as a stage, with music, poetry, author nights and film screenings. “And maybe even studio space for artists,” he said.
The gift shop features handmade art, from magnets, stickers and post cards to comics. By the end of the summer, Evans and business partner Rhia Foster hope to add a craft cocktail bar called The Telephone Co.
“We thought we needed the bar” to pencil out the bottom line for the gallery, he said, “but in the few days we’ve been open, I see the potential to make it just on the gallery. I may have undersold the gallery side a little.”
The downtown location and being open five days a week makes a huge difference.
“We were only open one day a month before,” he said. “It’s a whole different ballgame here. People are buying.”
In addition to rotating solo and themed exhibits, the gallery displays the work of about 20 artists, a mix of paintings, wall hangings and sculptures, all in the pop art, street art, low-brow genre.
The price range covers the gamut.
“We have a lot of original stuff that is relatively affordable,” Evans said.
RadarStation is open 2-7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 2-8 p.m. Fridays; noon-8 p.m. Saturdays and noon-4 p.m. Sundays. It is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Evans didn’t intend to open a gallery. A graphic artist by trade, he also is a musician and publishes a comic book about Edgar Rue, “a guy who commits suicide and wakes up in the afterworld.”
He initially turned a room in his house into a place to show his own work. When 150 people showed up to his first show, he saw the potential. He invited some friends to display their art and then expanded to artists from outside the area. Soon he built a stage outside and started hosting music, performances and movie screenings.
Early on, he started publishing a quarterly magazine version of the gallery to help reach out to other artists who might be interested in showing their art at RadarStation.
“I was asking artists to send their work to some dude’s house,” he said. “I wanted to show we were putting some effort into the quality.”
The effort has led to national and international attention.
The magazine is now starting to make money as well, he said.
With the move to downtown Wenatchee, his hope is to outgrow the space in the next five years.
“If the past couple of years is any indication, there’s an excitement and buzz for what we’re doing and we hope it continues to grow. This is something the valley clearly has been hungry for,” he said.