Launch Pad Cooperative to closeWritten by Chase Will | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Launch Pad Cooperative will close its doors on June 14 after two years of hosting exhibitions for local artists, writers and filmmakers.
According to the founders, the decision to close was made due to their desire to pursue their own artistic endeavors.
“We’ve done really great exhibitions and things like that since opening, but Tim and I just looked at the last couple years and decided to just focus on our own portfolios,” said co-founder Crystal Gale Phelps.
“For me it was wanting to get back into a regular studio practice, which I’ve been putting aside for the gallery,” added co-founder Timothy Gaewsky.
Launch Pad was founded in 2012 with a mission to provide support and encouragement for artists and writers, cultivate ideas and creativity, foster cross-disciplinary collaborations and actively pursue broader exposure of members’ work, according to its website.
“I want there to be more excitement about art,” Gaewsky told Toledo Free Press in 2012. “I really want to engage the community, especially the arts community, in a way I really haven’t seen happen here before. I want to go beyond exhibitions and gallery openings and get more in-depth with what’s going on in the art world outside of Toledo. It’s important to inform the arts community of Toledo that we can be a part of this ongoing dialogue that’s happening on a national and international level within the greater arts community, that we can participate in that.”
The gallery has hosted a total of 13 exhibitions, along with a short film festival and two 8×8 shows during a December holiday sale.
“What’s tough is, we both work full-time jobs, and we’re artists as well, and then we decided to run the gallery, which was another full-time job itself,” Gaewsky said.
Gaewsky is a painter and interdisciplinary artist who also works with installation gallery pieces.
“I look forward to getting back to the studio and really pushing my own work further,” Gaewski said. “I just want to be there as much as I can and start cranking out some work.”
“I’m looking forward to getting more involved with other passions of mine,” Phelps said. “Pecha Kucha has been what’s taken up a lot of my time. We had a really awesome event in May, and it’s been really nice to work as a networker and bring different types of people together.”
Phelps has also been working with Los Angeles-based POP-Up Research Station since giving a TEDx Toledo talk in September.
Phelps added that Launch Pad’s model is something that can be applied by anyone else interested in opening a co-op gallery in the near future, and she’d be happy to offer advice.
A closing reception will be held 7-9 p.m. June 13. This will be a joint reception for the closing of the gallery as well as the final exhibit, “process(ing)/recall,” by Jefferson Nelson and Ben Lock.
Launch Pad is located at 911 Jefferson Ave. More information can be found at www.launchpadcooperative.com.