Stepping onto the soap box at Rant Gallery
From 2011 to 2014, the Rotten Meat Gallery hosted one of the most eclectic lineups of artists in Northeast Ohio. From month to month, gallery-goers could see pure abstraction, soul-searching expressionist works, or soulfully goofy pop art.
Proprietor Dan Miller only reluctantly closed the gallery. Over the years, Miller has continued painting and sculpting, and explored other ways to make a distinctive contribution to local creative communities. However, he remained dogged in his efforts to curate a gallery again.
“I really missed it. I get to the point where I miss the annoyances. Flaky artists, turning down projects,” Miller said.
Now, Miller will have ample opportunity for those fortunate annoyances. Today, he opens the doors to Rant, a street-level Lorain Avenue gallery in Ohio City. The exhibition’s title, “Transmogrified,” references both Calvin and Hobbes, and the coexistence of reality and change. Rant’s debut show features pieces from more than two dozen artists and vendors, representing almost every artist to display at Rotten Meat, plus a few new faces. The second chance isn’t one Miller is taking for granted.
“I feel it’s a real honor to host really talented people,” Miller said.
To rise to that honor, Miller is exploring outside-the-box ideas for making the gallery both sustainable and a true neighbor to the community. The gallery also contains a boutique, where attendees can buy locally made merch and small decorative art pieces. Going forward, he hopes to use the open floor space for yoga nights, art classes, and life drawing sessions. (Miller says he will need to install curtains before that last proposal is viable.) In the meantime, he already has shows scheduled for May and July.
“Transmogrified” itself serves as an excellent preview for Rant’s coming attractions, featuring work from such diverse creators as John W. Carlson, Emily A. Deeken, Bob Peck, Katy Richards, and Justin Michael Will.