arts and culturefeatured-art-and-cultureIssue 34

A Dream in Three Colors

Ghostly Sharon by Allen Passalaqua

By Jordan Severns

Art is such an important aspect in our everyday lives. Having uncensored expression is crucial for thriving and colorful art culture, something that is said to be stifled in Modesto.

A passionate art community is nothing without spaces to present and share the art we love and value. As such, Modesto is lucky to have the Tri-Chromatic Gallery, a female-run gallery that spotlights a diverse collection of artists working on a wide variety of art.

The Tri-Chromatic Gallery, named after the theory that humans visually perceive the world through three primary colors, is an art space located on J Street and run by Chelsea America, Brooke Heathcoat, Zoe Toscano, and Felicia Constantine. Their exhibits range from more traditional mediums like painting, photography, and sculpture, to things like live performances, sound installation, and video art. Recent exhibitions have included an experimental movie night, open houses, and Personal Spaces, a photography exhibit demonstrating how a person is different in their own private spaces.

The gallery started when Chelsea, Brook, and Zoe, in their own words, “had an idea of starting a collective and providing a platform to connect art and our local community.” The founders are artists in their own right, and use the space as an opportunity to create and display their own works, but their ultimate goal is to promote diverse artistic voices in the area and to push the boundaries of the types of art people are comfortable with. As their projects and exhibitions grew more diverse, Felicia Constantine became the fourth partner, using the space to create layered musical showcases.

“Art is such an important aspect in our everyday lives,” the partners said in an interview, “Having uncensored expression is crucial for thriving and colorful art culture, something that is said to be stifled in Modesto.”

True to their words, the quartet seeks to foster this culture directly. In addition to exhibits, the Tri-Chromatic Gallery also offers art criticism workshops as well as art classes on the last Thursday of every month. Oftentimes these classes will honor an artist, living or dead, such as recent classes on realist paintings inspired by Amy Sherald, and a class based on the work of Jackson Pollock.

Throughout the Tri-Chromatic Gallery’s existence, they have “Witnessed the magic of what giving grounds to raw voices can do…”

Chelsea and Zoe teach the classes, drawing on their experience in art school and combining Zoe’s experience with wine and painting classes with Chelsea’s interest in art history to offer a class that’s not only instructive, but informative, teaching students the history of the art and artist as well as the art itself.

In line with their philosophy of expanding the boundaries of art, this spring and summer Brook is also offering classes teaching the art of Thai massage, which she learned firsthand in Thailand. With these classes, she hopes to provide easy and enjoyable ways to relax.

“The classes will lean towards giving individuals tools to promote wellness in themselves and others,” the partners said.

When asked what it is about the Modesto art community that inspires them, they cited the city’s “small town sense” despite its size, and said that they’ve been newly energized by the people they’ve met at their Artists Gathering events, which seek to bridge the gap between new and old generations. According to the partners, the close connections within the community allow us to take inspiration from the established culture, but “it is vital that we keep our eyes open to the innovative styles coming from new generations.”

With regards to the future, the Tri-Chromatic Gallery seeks to do what it has been doing, only bigger and better. Having just taken on Felicia as a partner earlier this year, they are broadening the scope of their gallery and their work, providing “carefully curated shows that contain a piece of each of our souls.”

But more importantly, these four women care very deeply about the Modesto art community and wish to continue to provide an uncensored platform for progressive artistic expression.

Throughout the Tri-Chromatic Gallery’s existence, they have “witnessed the magic of what giving grounds to raw voices can do,” and they plan to press on doing this well into the future, playing a key role in bringing together Modesto’s artistic community and helping it realize its full potential.

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