The feeling of simply being in an alley with spraypainted walls fades as the sun goes down and the solar lights come on. The audience soon realizes they are actually in an art gallery with individual pieces of art hanging on the walls. "Environment" as a visual element was added to this artistic intention and grew into a concept piece to be realized in a downtown alleyway just west of the Taylor street overpass in Amarillo Tx. Developed in 2016 by artist Rachael Edwards, the BACK ALLEY GALLERY has been growing in size and attention going on 4 years and into its 5th stage of evolution ...
...its 3rd transformation, a show celebrating the beautiful transcendence of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel in spray paint titled "Without A Ceiling", was captured by Panhandle PBS in 2018 for the very first episode of the station's award winning series "The Handle"...
Click to 18:40 for the Back Alley Gallery
courtesy Panhandle PBS
The contemplation of both individuality and oneness by bringing together the best characteristics of highly contrasted elements be it in technique, style or subject seemed to allow each element to amplify the other in a given piece of work. It also seemed to create a spillover effect to the audience in their relationship to the work, and to those around them as a shared experience... watching as their environment transitioned all around them.
Billing this installment as a “Conceptual piece with an art show inside of it” artist Rachael Edwards incorporates the art gallery's extreme focus on the importance and value of individual pieces of visual art along with the raw, free-flowing spirit of street art belonging where it shouldn't be in annual solo shows consisting of new bodies of work in spraypaint on cardboard. It's experience hopes to be that no matter who or where you are, you are a vital part of something much bigger and are sharing a world with an unlimited and endlessly varied audience.
2017, Back Alley Gallery #1 and #2
2017 marked the very first installment of The Back Alley Gallery with its Banksy-esque themed show "Anti-Social" Done in spray paint on cardboard, this was a 20 piece show exploring the nature of the way we as humans treat each other on social media.
As the spring show proved to strike on the chord of curiosity from potential viewers, a second show was done in the fall with a few additional pieces, the return of D.J. "Rupert the Duke" (Sam Marmaduke) and craft beer makers Don Cuban Bomb City brewers replaced the initial refreshment debacle of a keg ...hidden behind a small sapling in the alley... with their artful brew given from a loading bay door.
"Without a Ceiling"
2018, Back Alley Gallery #3
Being rather drained from a prior show illustrating the anti-social elements of media, the 2018 Back Alley Gallery was used as a salve to soothe a wounding by the ugly side of human nature... by calling on the unmistakable beauty of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. An alley gallery filled with prophets, sibyls and of course, The Creation of Adam, was once again accompanied by the perfect soundtrack of D.J. "Rupert the Duke" and the newly award winning brew of Don Cuban Bomb City brewery. With the new addition of The Panhandler's Cafe, this was marked the first Alley show to be proffessionally catered and attendance had tripled.
2019, Back Alley Gallery #4
The summer of 2019 saw the advent of the Back Alley Gallery #4, "Metallica". Now an annual show, and in keeping with the core of its nature (finding the balanced intersection in mixing the essence of fine art and street art) this fourth reincarnation was a marriage of classical figurativism and the street technique of producing the illusion of a chrome-like shine all while exploring the social phenomena of A.I. and automation as human "replacement". With the fundamental alley features of 4 crafted brews from Don Cuban Bomb City Brewery, the impeccable beat by d.j. Rupert the Duke and cuisine by Panhandler's Café, "Metallica" had an estimated audience of 400 people and 70% of the show sold.