The Storefront at 2606 N. California is a multi-purpose non-commercial/non-non-profit institution-as-art project that operates according to the logic of a gift economy. Its mission is to support temporary and/or long-term projects by local cultural producers of all kinds while promoting the idea of artists as local community producers working within the history of a 21st century global discourse.
Open to the public in 2011, The Storefront is located in a very ordinary storefront space on North California Avenue in the beautiful Logan Square area of Chicago. Hidden in plain view and nestled comfortably within its surroundings, The Storefront positions itself within the ebb and flow of everyday life. Its mission is to balance a playful absurdity with a high level of critical discourse and professionalism to challenge the monotony of an urban cycle of work/life/work/life for life.
The Storefront can host a plethora of activity (and inactivity), re-imagining the role of contemporary art within regional, local, neighborhood and street-level contexts. Artists, designers, filmmakers, critics, historians, curators and cultural producers of all stripes are invited to participate in the programming. The space and resources within are offered to collaborators as a public laboratory to imagine and develop prototypes for the kind of local culture we wish to inhabit. Support is provided to participants in the form of space, publicity, documentation, publication with a steady stream of conversation keeping it all afloat. The Storefront is well suited for long drawn-out small group discussions and workshops.
The Storefront at 2606 North California is directed by artist, curator and educator Brandon Alvendia.
Information on The Storefront and other projects can be found on the artist's website www.alvendia.net
February 6, 2011, 12-5pm
“There is No Such Thing as a Free Brunch”
The official open house and meet & greet launch event for The Storefront at 2606 North California.
February 28, 2011, 6-9pm
“Quite a Large Bite for Such a Small Berry. A Memoir by Vincent Dermody”
Silver Galleon Press release event.
April 10, 2011, 12-5pm
“Talking with Fear about Dying Tomorrow by Matt Austin" artist book.
Silver Galleon Press release event.
April 23-24, 2011
The Storefront at the MDW fair
Halfway to Entropy
Organized by Jacob C. Hammes
July 30, 2011, 5-9pm
Book release: NO NEED TO PERISH
By Rusty Shackleford
August 6-7, 2011, 12-5pm
Underground Music Fanzines from the late 1980’s-early 1990’s
Plus a new publication by Public Collector
August 13, 2011, 5-9pm
ETERNITY: Rave and Club Flyers from the Collection of Bridgette Buckley
presented by PUBLIC COLLECTORS
Please check Alvendia's website for more information on upcoming events.
The Storefront is host to a number of ongoing projects, including but not limited to:
The Storefront Facade
The Storefront commissions and accepts proposals for experimental window display projects geared toward innovative interpretations of conventional or historical urban storefront uses. The periodically changing installations are visible to random passerby and complicate the relationship of the function of the Storefront to its outward appearance. Referring to the constant turnover of storefront businesses, the recent trend of “pop-up” art galleries in vacant commercial properties and obliquely to “legitimate business” front organizations, The Storefront Facade playfully engages the audience with its own unique take on the history of public art installation (as well as the history of window dressing).
The Exhibition Program
While The Storefront exhibition program emphasizes a philosophy of “the process is the product”, it maintains a strong commitment to high level conceptual and aesthetic consideration. Exhibition projects are structured to accommodate and/or facilitate various uses, such as hosting discussions, classes, workshops, reading, researching, writing, book binding, studio visits, screenings, performances, photo shoots, birthday parties, siestas and so on...
The Silver Galleon Press
This independent publishing endeavor characterizes books as tactile sculptural objects capable of disseminating large bodies of text and imagery. The content is culled primarily from the Internet in the form of public domain, open source and pirated texts. Titles are printed very cheaply using a used but dependable consumer grade printer with low cost generic ink and are bound by hand using a variety of traditional methods emphasizing an efficient and economical handmade aesthetic.
The 16:9 Club
This intermittent screening series specializes in presenting outstanding feature length selections from artists, curators, writers, filmmakers and other buffs. Movies of all genres are culled from the “popular” library and look at a history of challenging cinema created for a broad yet critical audience. Movies are screened at The Storefront or other venues (art spaces and theaters, apartments and backyards, in public...). The 16:9 Club encourages those invited to select movies to consider departing from the custom of “silently watching a movie in the dark from beginning to end” with odd or unconventional presentations (like permitting talking during the movie, offering the ability to enter and exit the screening as one pleases, projecting on the ceiling, floor, garage, behind the band, etc.)
The HomeSchool project is an experiment in DIY public education promoting the sharing of useful(or useless) knowledge and expertise in an intimate and informal context. Instructors are asked to develop reading lists and lectures, lead discussions and workshops or conceive of more experiential learning projects and happenings. Classes are hosted by the individual instructors in their homes or in the homes of interested parties. The Storefront acts as the central hub for meetings and curriculum planning sessions.
- 2013 Grantee Cultural ReProducers event at DePaul Art Museum September 13
- 2012 Grantee Lucky Pierre Free University (L.P.F.U): The Sky is Falling. The Money's All Gone.
- 2012 Grantees Prison Neighborhood Art Project and Lucky Pierre exhibit at CUE Foundation
- 2012 Grantee Prison Neighborhood Art Project Fundraiser July 3
- 2013 Plug-In Studio ArtMakerSpace feautured on littlebits