PORTAGE PARK – For years artist Riah Dunton dreamed of opening his own gallery to help other designers show their work.
After scouting for spots in the Portage Park area, Dunton settled into a cozy storefront at 5031 W. Montrose Ave. and opens Triple R Gallery this week. The gallery will host a grand opening on Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with drinks and aperitifs.
“It’s a long-held dream to have some kind of gallery or space where I can share my art and for local artists to share and show theirs,” said Dunton, who lives a few blocks away. . “I have shown some of my designs in other galleries and thought it would be exciting to be able to handle this on my own.”
Triple R Gallery focuses on restored, redesigned and reused art from a featured local artist who will be in the spotlight for a month. After that, their work will remain in the gallery for approximately four months while making room for the next featured artist.
Dunton, who is from Michigan and attended the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, will also show his own work, such as wearable art handbags, photographs and paintings. She plans to phase it out as more works of art join the collection.
The first artist featured will be painter Kristina Grosser Brucker, a resident of Jefferson Park who creates portraits and abstract works in acrylic. Dunton found Grosser Brucker through a Block Club story on Alchemy Arts Chicago, a multi-use space in Jefferson Park that closed during the summer.
Grosser Brucker was showing his works at Alchemy Arts for the first time in 20 years when the pandemic hit Chicago and closed indoor spaces. When Alchemy Arts closed for good this year, she was discouraged from finding other unconventional places to showcase her work.
But when Grosser Brucker hooked up with Dunton, her excitement returned, she said. Grosser Brucker said the Triple R Gallery will fill a need for local artists, especially those who are emerging or cannot afford to do so full-time like her.
âI feel very lucky – it’s like the lighting hits twice,â Grosser Brucker said. âIt’s an opportunity for a lot of people, and I’m grateful that it gives our little neighborhood a chance. We have to make ourselves known and fill an empty storefront. “
Dunton dedicated two walls to Grosser Brucker’s work, which she described as âwonderfulâ.
âHer ability to add that gloss and that acrylic paint, layer after layer, made these two-dimensional pieces more three-dimensional – a feat to be done with acrylic paint,â Dunton said. âI’ve never seen anything quite like this before. I also like his portraits called ‘Self Moods’ and his neighborhood portraits. Being able to do this in a monochromatic tone is quite skillful.
As more opportunities and art galleries present themselves in the far northwest, Dunton hopes to add to this wave, especially as people feel more comfortable exploring again. . She hopes that the work of the Triple R Gallery will change people’s views on what is characterized as art, especially versatile and multidimensional work like sculpture and pottery.
âI spoke with artists who have a different vision of their vision [art], which is exciting because I don’t want something that you always see, âDunton said. “Mixing that up with other things might inspire people to see something new.”
Chicago-area artists interested in showing can contact Dunton at [email protected]
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