Digging the Underground at Bozarts

Bunchs Lunchbox  |  03/02/2010 7:00 am

When your at one of Bozarts Fine Art and Music Gallery’s openings, you sometimes have to pinch yourself to be reminded that you’re in Toledo.

Bozarts is a raw formerly-industrial gallery space located in Downtown Toledo’s burgeoning Warehouse District. From the outside, its gray block and metal doors seem to blend into the surrounding landscape of vacant buildings. Yet, that block and those doors hide behind them an explosion of color, creativity, and dreams realized.

The space was renovated from a rough, worn-out warehouse space by local artist Jerry Gray, and turned into one of the coolest businesses and galleries Toledo’s ever seen. Inside, some of Toledo’s most interesting up-and-coming talent hangs a slew of styles and mediums on Bozarts’ white walls. And the work you’ll find is not your typical  fine art. Graffiti-inspired and impressionist art are no strangers to the gallery, along with any range of figurative and cartoon-inspired work.

It’s no stretch to call what’s happening at Bozarts an underground movement. Go to any of the gallery’s monthly opening or closing shows and you’ll find inside a collection of some Toledo’s hardest working and most notorious artists and arts scene supporters. Surrounded by innovative talent, late in the evening when the entertainment kicks on and the small space is jammed with coolies of all ages and backgrounds swilling cheap wine and dancing to whatever slightly off-the-radar band or DJ is featured for the night, you’ll find yourself accosting your arm or thigh with pinches only to realize, yes, indeed, you’re still in Toledo. And all your friends to who moved to New York or LA to experience this very thing, those friends who barely enjoy their time in those cities because they work constantly just to keep living there, should move back home.

This is the Age of Aqua-Rius

This month’s solo exhibition is no different. Local graffiti/print artist/painter Har Simrit Singh (a.k.a. Type-O, a.k.a. Doug Curtis) hosts the opening reception for his show Rius Aqua on Friday, March 5, from 6 p.m. - midnight at Bozarts, 151 St. Clair St.
The entertainment menu includes DJs EtchaSkratch, Skratchmatic. The event is free and open to the public.
Closing reception will be held on Saturday, March 27 at 6 p.m.

Har Simrit’s work is undoubtedly inspired from his time spent as a youth tagging Toledo, but he has worked that graffiti element into a more properly displayed fine art. As he’s moved into screen printing and design, Har Simrit’s fast lines and intricate spray can detail have taken new shape and become sincerely more metaphorical, physical, and psychic. There is a larger tale at work in all these pieces, some grand truth we all know, yet can’t quite ever put into words. Thankfully, Har Simrit has the ability to capture those thoughts and abstract ideas in paint. The result is a body of work that is genuinely stunning in detail, and fascinating in composition. Not to mention, like a graffiti-flavored puzzle for your third eye.

Come out to Bozarts this Friday and see what all the hype is about. Pinching not required.