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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 19, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 33
New art gallery opens on the Hill
Section One
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New art gallery opens on the Hill

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

When the owners of True Love Art Gallery (1525 Summit Ave.), George Long, Mike Gilmore, and Boris Erickson, got together to open the new art space they did so because, according to Boris, 'We wanted to contribute something unique, beautiful, and weird on Capitol Hill and we wanted to do it together.'

'We've been good friends for years, and all of us have lived or worked on the Hill for more than a decade,' Boris told Seattle Gay News. 'It just felt like it was time for us to put down some roots for the 'hood.'

Boris says the group used to make jokes about finding a name that was exactly eight letters so they could get proper knuckle tattoos with the name across their hands. 'So when George suggested 'True Love,' we all just sort of looked at each other with this sort of eureka moment,' he recalled. 'It was perfect - it represents a positive vibe, it's passionate, and it feeds into an idea we want to help foster. You can find true love anywhere, and sometimes in unlikely places.'

The owners say True Love is a natural fit in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. 'It's art. It's tattoos. It's love. It's community. It can be edgy, adventurous, peaceful, and mellow all at once,' said Boris. 'Capitol Hill is all of that & which means it's a great place for four Gay guys with a perfect mix of talents to start up a new venture!'

Plus, there's a lot of great art happening on the hill - Blitz Capitol Hill Art Walk has a huge roster of participating businesses and galleries every month (including True Love).

True Love is looking for a wide range of artists. 'You just have to have talent and skill, and be able to put together a show full of interesting work. We don't care how many shows an artist has had, we don't care how much they want to sell their work for, we just want something that sparks people's imaginations and emotions,' Boris told SGN. 'We also think folks in the area will want to help support the artists we exhibit by buying their work - for some of them, it may be the first piece of art they ever sell.'

'For instance, right now we have the work of two guys on our walls - Brian Sanchez and Kyle Schuman. Both live up in Everett. Brian is best known for his remarkable skateboard designs for Manik and also creates crazy-intricate paintings. His friend Kyle is a young artist with a really unique eye for painting, printmaking, and illustration,' he said. 'The two of them put together a really impressive show, and while their talent is clear, they produce the kind of work you probably won't see in a traditional gallery setting.'

'The opening reception for Brian and Kyle was a fantastic success - we were really grateful to see so many local folks come in that night both to see their art and to welcome us into the neighborhood. That kind of community support centered around art and a new, local, Gay-owned, Gay-operated, Gay-built business is something we're very excited and encouraged by.'

Capitol Hill is also a home to a number of world-class tattoo shops, and True Love is excited to add some talent to the local tattoo culture.

'When we started planning this venture, it was all about just figuring out how to create a tattoo shop,' explained Boris. 'Washington recently passed statewide tattoo regulations, so we wanted to find out how to create a fully licensed space for George to practice his tattoo artistry. He's been tattooing in the Pacific Northwest for more than 20 years.'

'But more than that, George and his partner Lee are both avid artists - mostly painting and sculpture,' he said. 'George wanted to create a tattoo shop that didn't feel like a tattoo shop. He had this really strong vision of creating a space for exhibiting and selling art that's historically underrepresented in the gallery system & and right alongside would be tattooists practicing their art in clean, safe, purpose-built, and comfortable studios. And all of the tattoos at True Love will be custom - no flash on the walls, no generic clip art to choose from - only working artists making genuine, one-of-a-kind art on your skin.'

'We'd love people to come by and feel True Love. We're still sorting out our hours of operation, but for now you can probably find someone at the shop between Tuesday and Saturday, noon to 8 p.m.,' said Boris. 'Folks can also drop us a like on Facebook at facebook.com/trueloveart, and we'll let you know about news and events at the shop. And while we're still working to get our website at www.trueloveart.com running, you can check out George's tattoo portfolio online at www.georgelongtattoo.com.'

'Finally,' concluded Boris, 'we're looking for talented and experienced tattooists! Get a hold of George if you're interested in joining True Love.'

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