Saturday saw the opening of a new space for contemporary art in Memphis with an exhibition of large format photographs by New York-based artist Victoria Sambunaris. Located in the basement of a former cotton building in the South Main area, Tops Gallery is the dream of Yale minted photographer, former New Yorker, and native Memphian, Matt Ducklo. I was fortunate enough to have been trusted by Matt to contribute numerous morning coffee conversations for brainstorming the ambition and approach of the endeavor. The unusual site for the gallery is intentional, and draws upon the associations of the building’s history and current activity in the manner in which it affects viewers’ experience. The end result is a small gem of a space where one might least expect it, and lovely shot of serendipity that lingers long after you’ve left.
Tops Gallery is open for viewing by appointment only: 901.340.0134 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just imagine how amazing Memphis could be if more unused rooms in cluttered buildings were transformed into galleries for experiencing art in distinctive ways. Lord, knows we’ve got plenty of wasted space to work with!