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At a pop-up gallery opening inside MKT Place apartments on 9th Street

Oct. 18, 2017

When Buccini/Pollin Group opened the doors to its art deco MKT Place apartments right off Market on 9th street, they made sure art filled the space from day one inside the pop-up MKT Place Gallery curated by Rodney Pratt.

Rodney, an experienced gallery owner and custom framer at Jerry’s Artarama on Market, called upon his many contacts to bring art (and furniture) into this corner of Wilmington. As you browse the art in these photos (which you can see yourself during a quick stroll by the building), consider with us the place of art in downtown Wilmington, through the lens of two culture curators: Rodney and Jerry’s manager Dave Bart:

Rodney: A lot of the artists here are either artists I've known for a number of years, who I have either collected from time to time, or who I've met here at Jerry's. This store here has helped a lot in collecting the artists, because they come in and buy our supplies and frames. Many of these in this show are my bigger sellers. Sean Faust. Rick Hidalgo. I have another gentleman I just started with, a photographer, his name is Craig Shwartz.

Dave: Some of them are upstarts, some of them are very seasoned artists. But they’re all local. Sean is going to have his own following, versus Rick. I think what I like about it … look, hey, I'm old, but the pop-up generation is about bringing your own supplies, bringing your own crowd to the event. You’ve got to supply the energy. I think the millennials are teaching us again to get off our duff and go again.

Rodney: My gallery in New Castle is inside 2nd ACT Antiques, so if you saw some furniture items inside the gallery, we're trying to draw that in too. And artists are very powerful when it comes to drawing people. They come into the city and they shop and they love it. Pop-up galleries help with that. I've had conversations with several artists asking, 'Can I share this with some of my artists friends. Would you be interested in bringing them on board? We can bring more people.’ It's a cycle.

Dave: When we moved in here four years ago, one of the catalysts was DCAD next door, but also what was Market going to look like in two years, five years, seven years. A lot of what we're trying to do in Wilmington doesn't always have to do with arts, but it's another cog in the wheel. If you don't put arts in here, if you don't put music in here, if you don't put food in here, nothing is going to happen.

Rodney: The mayor came to the opening. I'm excited for that new energy of a new administration -- and I know he believes it's important to have arts and entertainment in the city.

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