In December, the third art show for The Waiting Room took place in founder Leigh Sabisch’s apartment.
For the small DIY exhibit, Sabisch’s apartment worked out sufficiently. But Sabisch knew it wouldn’t be long until she needed to upgrade to a larger, less intrusive space; one that she wouldn’t have to tidy up after the show.
For the fourth art show of The Waiting Room, kicking off April 7, Sabisch was able to work out a new location: Pulp Gallery and Bookstore. When I ask Sabisch about the new location and how it worked out, she’s humble but excited.
“Well, there isn’t too much to the story,” she says. “I loved what Pulp was doing with their space so I walked in and pitched the concept of The Waiting Room to Will (Eiseman, owner of Pulp Gallery and Bookstore) and he said yes. The timing was perfect.”
Will Eiseman is able to expand a little bit more on the role Pulp played and will play in the Charleston community arts scene.
“She came in on the right day and I had the space available and I liked the idea of letting some younger, newer, local artists come in here and show (art),” Eiseman says. “Before I opened the door, I already knew where I was going with the gallery for the year,” Eiseman continues. “I had all the exhibitions lined up or in my head. So it kind of closed the door on all the local artists.”
But operating a gallery in Charleston, especially one as unique as Pulp, is an exercise in fluidity. And Eiseman is especially adept at running his business.
“It’s always organic,” Eiseman says about the idea of holding a community-oriented art show. “The place kind of becomes what they’re meant to be. I know what I want to do, but it changes by what works, what sells, and by what people ask of the space. And I’m always open to that.”
Like the three previous shows for The Waiting Room, a pop-up art gallery that features local artists’ work in different stages of their career, Sabisch centers the shows on contemporary art that may not always work in traditional galleries. Work that, as she says, “aid(s) in the creation of a more informed population through exposure to the unfamiliar, the unexplored, and the tabooed.”
And that’s the kind of art that Eiseman, whose next exhibit will feature vintage photographs of human oddities, medical marvels and crime scene photos, specializes in.
“When you’re doing shows with national artists or vintage photographs,” he says, “there’s a disconnect between the local arts community. But when you show a local artist, getting people in is a lot easier.”
And that works out to everyone’s advantage.
Together The Waiting Room and Pulp Gallery and Bookstore combine to bring a month of contemporary art that nudges toward the forefront of the Charleston community.
What: The Waiting Room art show on display at Pulp Gallery and Bookstore
When: Opening reception Thursday, April 7 at 7 p.m.; on display through April
Where: Pulp Gallery and Bookstore, 535 King St., Charleston