Important Projects

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Important Projects

Address: 5432 Boyd Ave, Oakland, CA 94618
Contact: Joel or Jason/
Phone: 678-612-1758
Open Hours: 4- 8pm Wednesday. But this is probably going to change soon.

How is the project operated?
We are an artist-run space. We rarely sell anything, and that is not a motivation for the space. In the event that we do sell work any profits associated with the space are put towards the cost of programming.

How long has it been in existence?
The gallery has existed since November 2009. We expanded operations last fall, building out a second exhibition space, so we now program two exhibitions roughly once a month.

What was your motivation?
We opened the gallery just a few months after we moved to the Bay Area from Chicago, so initially the motivation was social; it seemed like a good way to meet people out here, and it was also a good way to stay connected with people we knew from Chicago. Our early programming developed around connections we’d made in school, so a smaller proportion of the artists were local. Now that we have two exhibition spaces the motivation has a lot to do with establishing a dialogue between local artists and artists from outside the Bay Area.

Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project.

How are programs funded?
We ran a successful Kickstarter campaign about a year ago, which allowed us to expand and continues to help fund the project.

Who is responsible for the programming?
We maintain programming ourselves. For the most part we just invite artists who we are excited about and do our best to pair shows thoughtfully. We don’t really consider the role curatorial though.

Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year.
We schedule two exhibitions just about every month.

What kind of events are usually organized?
We have opening receptions.

How is your programming determined?
Our program is made up of artists that are making things that are exciting to us.

Do you accept proposals/submissions?

What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
Somewhat hands off; the focus has been on solo shows or really concise group projects, the idea mostly being that we really want to give people space to do their thing.

What’s working? What’s not working?
Right now the time we put into Important Projects is in edition to the full-time jobs we are both stuck with. Its not necessarily that this isn’t working, but it would be cool if we had an intern just so we could offer open hours on the weekends to make the shows more accessible.

What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
We think it’s valuable to bring in artists from outside the Bay Area art scene because like any local scene, it can be somewhat insular. In pairing local and non-local artists we hope that the space can function as a bridge between communities, but we are also composing a program with the intention of generating a history that is reflective of the inter-connectivity of our time, rather than any one specific regional identity.

What idea are you most excited about for the future?
We are psyched about the possibility of a High Speed Rail Route between here (the Bay Area) and Los Angeles.


Images courtesy of Important Projects.

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