VisualArts Community of artists on display at ‘The Waiting Room’

Elephant Trees by Wes Israel

In his book “Outliers,” Malcolm Gladwell suggests that achieving 10,000 hours of correct practice in a given skill nets you the type of foundation needed to become an expert. Most of us can relate to this, especially if we’ve worked hard in a field of study most of our lives. But while you’re working diligently, waiting around to hit the 10,000-hour mark, what do you do in the meantime?

For artists, I imagine it can feel a lot like sitting in a waiting room surrounded by your own work. At least, that’s how Leigh Sabisch describes it.

“As an artist I realized that I make a lot of work and I have a lot that ends up rolled up in the corner, prints stashed under my bed,” Sabisch says. “And I noticed a trend within all the artists I know, that everyone has that corner or that closet full of art that no one ever sees. And it’s important for artists to show their work and have people respond to it, to react. Hearing that feedback is how you grow.”

Rather than waiting for her first gallery show, Sabisch, in a nod to the artistic do-it-yourself ethic, decided to turn her apartment into a space to showcase her art and the art of some of her colleagues. The event is aptly titled “The Waiting Room” and Sabisch has held two pop-up art showcases this year already. The third takes place on Dec. 4.

Each event has grown in attendance and the number of artists. That’s a good problem to have, but also a double-edged sword, Sabisch says. She hasn’t been able to move the event into a larger space, so the logistics of accommodating an ever-growing event are very real. But “The Waiting Room” is a communal effort; artists and volunteers pitch in to help make the event happen and run smoothly. It’s a grassroots artistic effort fueled almost entirely by donations and goodwill that benefits everyone involved, especially the artists with work to display.

And as for the style of art on display at “The Waiting Room,” Sabisch doesn’t have any preconditions or requirements to be a part of the event.

“I curate each event based on what I feel would work well together, but I’m pretty open to whatever art people are making that they are passionate about.”

And “passion” is a good descriptor for the event Sabisch has created. Currently an art major at the College of Charleston, Sabisch is grounded in her present work and studies but also has a careful eye cast toward the future, both immediate and long term.

“Eventually, I want to make ‘The Waiting Room’ a permanent idea,” she says. “One day, I want to have a gallery and help studio artists work and grow.”

But for now, her short-terms plans are to increase attendance at events, gain some exposure, and hopefully find a larger space so that she can move the event out of her apartment and into another location. And at the rate Sabisch is moving, it won’t be long until her apartment runs out of wall space.

What: “The Waiting Room,” a pop-up art showcase

Where: 67 South St. (upstairs), downtown Charleston

When: December 4, 7 p.m. Free and open to the public, donations are welcome