For this week's Philanthropy Friday, I talked to Dane Pecore, one of the founders of the ArtSpace Collective.
Dane, along with a few others, started the non-profit gallery 24 years ago in Oshkosh after they graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. They all split the costs of the building and continue to do so. They chose to do this because they didn't want to feel as though they had to make money from the gallery. All the artists enjoy creating the art as a way to escape reality and have fun.
Every month they rotate out the art and bring new pieces in. It is one of Dane's favorite parts about the gallery. The way he explained why he likes it so much is "when you go into stores, you mostly see the same things. However, when you walk into the gallery, you see artwork that you wouldn't be able to see anywhere else." He likes being able to walk in every month and have a surprise.
In real life, he works as a digital designer. He doesn't mind doing the work, but sometimes he feels as though there is a separation. It's him, the art and the screen between them. When he paints, he enjoys the messiness of it. It brings him back to when he would finger paint as a kid and be fully immersed into the art. He hopes that he still has the same energy and attitude as he did as a young boy but with just a little more life experience behind the art. He feels as though art gives him a reason to do stuff.
During Dane's last show, Leif Larson, a local artist, came in and said he wanted to buy a piece of Dane's work. Dane didn't want the money though. He suggested they made a trade instead. "If he would have bought it, that money would have been gone in two minutes," he explained, "now I have his art in my hallway at home and I'll always have this art." In November, both Dane and Leif will have a show together, titled "Filling in The Blanks."
Dane, along with the other founders, also started the monthly Oshkosh Gallery Walk. It takes place every first Saturday of the month from 6-9pm. For more information, make sure to check out their website.
The ArtSpace Collective hours are Wednesday and Thursday from 5 to 8 pm, Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm, and Sundays from 1 to 4 pm. It's a cool place, everything from the walls to the floor is a piece of art.