In 2012, Renny Molenaar and Rocio Cabello created the iMPeRFeCT Gallery with the “intention and hope of becoming a voice in the community and in the ongoing conversation with the art world.” And next weekend, the gallery will celebrate doing so when they reach an impressive 10-year milestone at 5539 Germantown Avenue. To celebrate, they will host their 10th annual art show. And for the first time, they’ll dedicate the show to one particular issue — women’s bodies and rights.
“HANDS OFF!! WOMEN’S BODIES, WOMEN’S RIGHTS” is the message attached to the open call that the two co-owners have circulated throughout the neighborhood and on social media. When asked why it was necessary to dedicate this show to the polarizing subject of reproductive rights, Molenaar said, “we’re right before the election, so we want to contribute to the outrage to the fact that this is not right. It’s not just a women’s issue; it’s our issue.”
While the art show is in dedication, artists are not required to have their submissions focus on the issue. The gallery operates to let artists claim the space as their own without censorship. Molenaar describes this as “letting the artist loose.” He says sometimes artists may not have political pieces but may want to add their voice, and a space like this facilitates that.
“The exhibit is about solidarity,” Molenaar says, explaining their loose submission guidelines. “We want you to know that if you’re an artist or creative and want to add your voice to the concern, we’re giving you the platform. It’s a little platform, but everyone has to do their part.”
But before the celebration and exhibition takes place, Molenaar says they need submissions. Artists are allowed one ready-to-hang piece that is no larger than 36 iches. Sculptors must provide a pedestal or other means of displaying their work. Artists are asked to make a $30 contribution to enter a piece, which can be paid in various ways. On their website, the gallery says no artist will be turned away for money reasons. The gallery calls on the community to sponsor artists to make that possible.
Drop-off dates for artists’ works are Friday (9/16) from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday (9/17) from 1 to 5 p.m, though Molenaar says that they will probably take art until Tuesday (9/20). Molenaar says that he understands that deadlines can be a hassle for some folks, so an extra day can make a difference.
While reflecting on ten years of operation, Molenaar says he sometimes thinks to himself, “oh my God. How did we do it? I don’t know, but it happened.”
The opening reception and ten-year celebration will happen on Saturday, September 24th, from 6 to 9 p.m. After that, guests can see the exhibition until October 29th. For information about the reception, exhibition, or guidelines, visit imperfectgallery.squarespace.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.