Week Fifty Two

W52 Interview: The 815

Posted in Art openings, Interview by sarahbakerhansen on 31 March 2010
A selection of work to be shown in the first show at Lincoln’s 815.

Our focus here on W52 for the rest of the week is going to be on the April openings taking place this weekend during Lincoln’s First Friday. Thursday, we’ll feature an interview with Neal Obermeyer, whose “Good Friday, Better Art” opens Friday at Handmade Modern. Friday will bring an interview with ProjectRoom Director Craig Roper as his gallery prepares to celebrate its two-year anniversary in April.

Today we’re learning more about The 815, a live music and visual arts venue that debuts Friday. The 815 Director Todd Bumgarner answered a few questions about the new space. The 815 will begin its tenure in downtown Lincoln with “Artists on the Edge,” an outsider art exhibition. Photographers Rob Liliedhal and Keri Hess will exhibit on the lower level, and local guitarist Luke Sticka will perform a set. The 815 is located at 815 O St. in the old Pepperberg Cigar Factory under the O street overpass. The opening runs from 6-9 p.m.

Week Fifty Two: How did you come up with the idea to open the 815?

Todd Bumgarner: The idea of The 815 came about as we sought to simply serve the local artists and musicians in the city of Lincoln.  We want to draw attention to what is going on in the cultural scene in Lincoln and The 815 is a way in which we can serve the artists and musicians via prime venue space downtown.

W52: Will you have regular hours, or just be a First Friday venue?

Bumgarner: At this point, we will only be a First Friday venue, though we are thinking through ways to expand upon that.

W52: Will the venue focus exclusively on “outsider art?” Tell me a bit more about your definition of outsider art.

Bumgarner: The 815 consists of two separate spaces.  It is our hope to continually use the main level to focus on outsider art through the work of the local group, Artists on the Edge.  By “outsider art” I am referring to those with no formal training, but simply a passion to create.  The lower level is being used to feature up-and-coming artists who are trying to get their feet under them by providing a no-cost venue in which they can exhibit their work.

W52: What kind of music do you plan to focus on? Will the shows be exclusively during first Fridays or at other times, too?

Bumgarner: The music side is really still being developed.  We will feature local musicians during the First Friday shows, and hope to expand into serving local musicians with potential rehearsal space during the week. We also want to provide an alternative venue for bands trying to get a hearing or simply seeking a more intimate venue.

W52: Why would you encourage someone to check out the new space?

Bumgarner: Lincoln really has a lot to be celebrated when it comes to the local art and music scene.  Our goal is simply to serve the local artists and musicians through space. If you are someone who is interested in supporting that local scene, this would be a great place to start.  Beyond that, we are really aiming to be a venue for up-and-coming folks that may not as easily get a hearing in some of the larger or more well-known venues.  So if you’re interested in getting a peek at up-and-coming artists, this will be a great place for you to do that.

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