Walking along 10th street, a short road with few buildings, it is easy to forget you are in downtown Minneapolis. The small businesses line the road cozily, but over their roofs the dominating U.S. Bank Stadium can be seen. Cassie Garner, owner of one of these businesses, the Gamut Gallery, described the quiet niche as the Bermuda Triangle of downtown.
“We pulled up in front of this old building and it was completely vacant,” Garner said. “There was a ‘for rent’ sign in the window and the minute we got out of the car and looked into the space, we were like, ‘this is the new space’. It was pure chance, pure luck and then lots of persistence.”
The Gamut Gallery is dedicated to providing the area with a diverse display of local and Midwestern talent. Currently, the gallery is hosting the yearly Call for Work (C4W). This year’s curator Tara LaPlante is a good friend of owners Garner and Jade Patrick. The gallery’s website states her creation as “a kaleidoscopic range of styles, mediums and artists’ points of view.”
The word “gamut” is defined as the complete range or scope of something, which rings true upon entering the gallery. One room holds the entire display of artwork, but a single viewing is not enough to take everything in. Each piece of work is entirely unique, with its own story, which was completely intentional.
“I didn’t really want to have a concept from the start, I didn’t want things to fit into some kind of title or anything. So what I started doing was just taking away anything that wasn’t, like, the best of each different category,” LaPlante said.
The goal of displaying this entire range is not just to show diversity, but to create it by drawing in as many different individuals from the community as possible.
“I think a lot of that has to do with how we rotate out our shows,” Garner said. “We embrace our name — being Gamut Gallery, we show the gamut, the full spectrum. Being able to do that, I feel we’re able to obtain a wider variety of age ranges and demographics, because we are constantly switching things up.”
Despite this lack of an overarching theme, the challenging task of putting everything together in a connected way was completed by the careful eye of LaPlante, an artist herself who has spent much of her career working on gallery arrangement. She has lived in Los Angeles doing similar work but recently returned to the Midwest for the show, where she was born.
“It was really great to have someone doing different things in the art scene on the other end of the country and to bring her aesthetic into the Midwest,” Garner said.
The main thing LaPlante wants people to take away from the presentation is anything an individual viewer may personally form a connection with.
“Maybe they don’t like everything, but they at least like parts of it, versus a show with a theme where they don’t feel attached to any of it,” LaPlante said. “I wanted a person to come and at least feel really connected to a certain style.”
The Gamut Gallery is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Pieces for C4W will be on display until Nov. 17.