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Black floor rising

I got an email last month from Nick Paparone announcing the creation of a new venue, Black Floor Gallery, at 319 N. 11th St., 3rd floor.

Black Floor is an artist-run gallery and studio space created and run by a six-person team: Gerik Forston, Elsa Shadley, Carrie Collins, James Dillon, Annette Monnier, and Nick Paparone. (image is the gallery’s logo and a part of the email announcement for the first show. I admired its black meets pink ambiance.)

Libby and I met Paparone and Dillon last summer at Project Room where we both slid down their indoor slide into the locked room and had to figure out how to escape. The project was “Current” and we loved it. (See Libby’s post) I always intended to write about these two, who also run the Print Liberation Front, because I found their work so energetic and intelligent. I’m happy to see they’re making more trouble with the crowd at Black Floor

Black Floor’s next opening is April 1 and the show has ties to Cincinnati (where Dillon and Paparone are from — I’m not sure where the other Black Floor members hail from). Anyway, the BF exhibiting artists for April, Beth Graves and Russell Ihrig, live and work in the Cincinnati area and both help run the alternative space, publico. (Publico has hosted exhibits of Space 1026ers.)

The Graves/Ihrig exhibit is “NORTHERN / B-SIDES,” and it’s a geo-themed show dealing with the three triangulated points on the globe — Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area, Iceland, and Philadelphia. That’s like the polar opposite of the suave, cosmopolitan Paris/London/Madrid triangle and I can’t wait to see it.


Graves works at a small toy sculpting house in Cincinnati, Sculpco, and her bio says she once showed her work in Chicago at a three-hour event on a moving yacht tooling around Lake Michigan. The artist will exhibit mixed media sculpture.

Ihrig, too, works for a toy company, “Happen’s Toy Lab.” The theme of his work deals with living on the wrong side of the river, the “B side.” It’s not specified what his medium is so we’ll have to see.

Black Floor openings are from 7PM – 10PM and other hours are by appointment so make an effort to get to the opening. As with Freeform at MBN, the openings are the best time to see the work anyway.