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Lets cheers to the next 10 years

6 minute read
by Alex Hillman

Seldom Serious October 7th 5-9pm

I like to start tours of Indy Hall in our art gallery space.

It catches some people off guard, but I’ve learned that the gallery can be an easier place to explain how our coworking community really works, sometimes even better than the workspace itself. We don’t produce art shows so you can look at art on the walls, we produce art shows to connect people with each other.

Some of our best examples include massive group shows – ones where dozens of people all riff on a shared theme or a set of constraints. Others are shows where artists riff on each other, like jazz improv performance, even borrowing inspiration across mediums by turning written words into visual art.

Can you can see why I start in the gallery? Every day, all throughout Indy Hall members achieve things that would’ve been much more difficult without the shared momentum and resources of the community they’re a part of. 

Desks just don’t really tell that story. 

Our solo art shows are something special.

A handful of times, we’ve broken form and done a show that thrusts one artist in our community forward.

Calling these shows “solo” might be misleading. A solo show focuses on a single artist, but it happens because of a lot of people. One person might be in the spotlight, but the reason we do these solo shows is to celebrate. To bring people together, around that person.

“This was the first time I truly felt like an artist. And I wasn’t icked-out by that. I was owning it. I had students coming up to me, wanting advice on how to hone their style and make it. I was on a cloud bopping around hugging and shaking hands and sipping punch.

Everything about the night felt so right to me. All of the fear I had about not having enough “personal brand” to create a “show” … well I did, and it came together naturally and, to me, it told the story perfectly.

Not to be dramatic, but this was an overwhelming experience of support. By the time the show was hung, I was so tired and so excited and so grateful.”

-Kelsey Stoler

I’ve always seen these shows as more like chapter markers for people in our community.

People like Saul Rosenbaum.

I’ve known Saul since before we had signed a lease on the first space for Indy Hall.

Saul and I connected as fellow independents back in 2007. We both made websites for clients. We both liked learning and playing with new technologies. Saul was already a fixture in Philly’s creative & technology community for a while before I showed up on the scene.

So there’s a special excitement for me, personally, that we get to celebrate Saul in Indy Hall’s new gallery, in our new home at 399 Market Street.  

Indy Hall has given me the ability to watch many people transform. The most remarkable transitions aren’t always the most drastic. It’s one thing to change what you’re doing entirely, to press the reset button. It’s another thing to find a better way to do of whatever you were doing before.

In people like Saul, I’ve gotten to see both of these kinds of changes simultaneously. From a veteran web designer, to one of the most prolific artists I personally know. From a quiet creative, to someone who celebrates each piece of work, even if the celebration is the small simple act of smiling and finishing a cup of coffee.

And in addition to celebrating the culmination of this body of work, we’re also celebrating the launch of a new book featuring Saul’s work! In collaboration with Indy Hall’s own independent publishing duo Amanda Thomas and Christine Neuleib of Lanternfish Press, and with supporting literary talent from my dear friend and colleague Adam Teterus, Saul has published a coloring book titled “Other Worlds” that will be available for purchase at the show!

Another launch. Another collaborative production between talented friends.

That’s what Indy Hall does best.

We have a lot to celebrate, so I hope you can be here.

Saul is in the spotlight for this show as we highlight over 200 individual pieces of artwork from his collection…most of it priced between $30-80, so almost everybody can afford to take something home.

You read that right, over 200 pieces. And that’s whittled down from his entire collection.

Having this as the first show in our new space is perfect: it’s all about celebrating something that’s taken a long time to get good at, while simultaneously creating an entirely new experience.

Come by 399 Market between 5-9pm to enjoy that experience with us. Members, friends, neighbors, and families. Share some space, share some time, share some laughs and smiles, and revel together in Saul’s night.

Help us make this house a home.

If you’ve been following along over the last 18 months, you know that we’ve put in a ton of work to make Indy Hall’s transition into our new home as smooth as possible.

But any move, no matter the size, happens in stages: There’s moving into the new place, and then there’s making that place feel like home.

At Indy Hall, there are two ways that everyone can help make our place feel like home:

Contribute to the places we share

We could have easily covered every wall in our new space with the art of our members, but instead we chose to hang a much smaller collection, and leave lots of room for the future of our community to fill in together.

Because it’s one thing to have art on the walls. It’s another thing to put art on the walls.

Just because a piece of art is in one place doesn’t mean it needs to live there forever. Very few things at Indy Hall are permanent. That’s important, and on purpose.

You don’t have to create art to contribute. Pick a space you want to make nice for yourself and the people around you. Pick a project and invite people to join you in working on it. Ask if someone is already working on something you’re interested in, and see if you can add to it.

Spend time together

Indy Hall is a club with a clubhouse. Whatever we spend our days working on, we’ve chosen to do it alongside each other.

Sometimes the time we spend together is brief and focused. Other times, it’s relaxed and casual. Sometimes it’s about work, sometimes it’s about our personal lives.

No matter which you crave, I believe you’ll find both on Friday night.

Come by 399 Market between 5-9pm to enjoy that experience with us.

The first of many, many more in our new home.

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Alex Hillman I am always thinking about the intersection of people, relationships, trust and business. I founded Indy Hall in 2006, making us one of oldest fully independent coworking communities in the world. This site is packed with the lessons and examples I’ve learned along the way. You can find me on Twitter, too! 🐦 Say hi.