Rabbit Gallery set to reopen at new site in February

Maija Anstine

The Rabbit Gallery, a student-run pop-up art gallery, will open in downtown Appleton Feb. 8. The gallery has changed locations from its first opening last May, to 506 W. College Ave. It will remain open for three weeks.

“Part of the pop-up gallery is that it goes away and comes back somewhere new,” said senior Ali Scattergood, part of this year’s student team in reference to the Rabbit’s first incarnation in a different location. This year’s gallery is located across the street from Victoria’s Italian Cuisine.

Scattergood noted that pop-up galleries find their purpose not only in promoting the local artist community, but also in getting foot traffic in an abandoned space. This can bolster the local economy if an entrepreneur stops by the gallery and decides to lease it long term, which happened with the Rabbit last year.

The project, part of the Art of Entrepreneurship class taught by Assistant Professor of Economics Adam Galambos, has also benefited its student creators, who have learned how to start a business through the process.

“None of us have ever started a business from scratch before,” said junior Deborah Levinson, another member of the student team. She explained how faculty assistance from Galambos and Lecturer of Economics and Coleman Fellow Gary Vaughan has allowed them more time to focus on collecting art and fundraising.

“It takes a lot to follow through with a business plan,” said Scattergood. “Anyone can have an idea, but it takes effort to make it happen,” referring to the marketing and fundraising efforts they have carried out.

Scattergood and Levinson have set up a crowd funding website at http://www.indiegogo.com/The-Rabbit-Gallery, through which they are seeking donations to fix up the space, throw an opening and fund the gallery’s operations. They have also received support from Appleton area businesses and individuals, and have obtained leftover proceeds from last year’s gallery.

The gallery will feature artwork by Lawrence students as well as artists from the greater Appleton community. Levinson noted that the Rabbit team is putting on a matte and frame workshop for students who want to submit their artwork but don’t know how to get it ready to be mounted at a gallery.

“The Rabbit is considered a professional business, which will show on your résumé,” said Levinson, explaining how student artists will benefit from the gallery.

Khazaana Bazaar, a budding student-run microfinancing business and part of Galambos’ Innovation & Entrepreneurship course, will also be setting up shop in the gallery, testing the waters at the Rabbit to gauge community response to their project. Plans include selling handmade crafts from small villages and sending the profits back to those villages.

Submissions are still being accepted through early next week. This year’s call for artworks, developed by Scattergood and Associate Professor of Art and Frederick R. Layton Professor of Art Rob Neilson, emphasizes the gallery’s theme of time. Submissions may be submitted to natalie.a.fordwor@lawrence.edu.

“In the past the pop-up gallery phenomenon has been more common in larger, more urban areas,” said Neilson, who helped last year’s team with many of the “practical aspects” of starting up the gallery. “Fortunately for Appleton and the surrounding community, our students are proving that this model for creative community engagement is workable and effective.”