Formerly: Note: As of September 2006 artLedge closed shop as a gallery. Co-founders Caleb Lyons and Brandon Alvendia continue to curate art projects under the name "artLedge" at various art galleries and spaces in Chicago.
It should have been obvious from the name, but to see art hanging off a ledge is still surprising. After climbing a rickety spiral staircase in Caleb Lyon's apartment, one arrives at the claustrophobic 40-square-foot space known as artLedge, where artists install site-specific works on a near-monthly basis. These have included sculptures, paintings, photographs, videos and opening-night performances. Some examples: artist Ben Foch spent 40 hours pin-striping the walls around the ledge; Jamison Ogg created sculptural paintings sized to fit the ledge.
After graduating from the School of the Art Institute in May 2004, Lyons and Brandon Alvendia co-founded this art initiative, providing a crew of upcoming artists with a site-specific opportunity that requires the ledge in order to operate.
With no regular gallery hours, the true public outing of the art happens at one of artLedge's infamously fun opening-night parties. "The first floor needs to be filled with our friends for it to work," Alvendia concedes. You see, the "party" takes place on the first floor, where people gather to imbibe and chat. To view the art one must leave the "party" and ascend the mysterious staircase in front of everyone.
In August 2006, Lyons will move out of the apartment and artLedge will transform into a traveling art project. With plans already in the works to reconstruct a ledge for a show at Around the Coyote Gallery and to publish a book documenting the past two years of exhibitions, Lyons and Alvendia seem to be taking artLedge to new heights, literally.
Reviewed By: Joanne Hinkel