Bob Androvich is sticking it to The Man the best way he knows how: He’s throwing a party.
Three years ago, Androvich started hosting a semi-regular art show out of his home overlooking Land Park. He didn’t think the local gallery scene was serious enough, so his endeavor started as a way to show his own work.
It soon became a regular opportunity for Androvich to showcase the work of other artists, too. He had eight shows in 2014, another nine in 2015 and was on a roll this year. A friend and neighbor of his, Joy Gough, came on to curate the art in his home. He timed his events on Second Saturdays and Thursdays, and hundreds of people walked through his door.
“It was just a bunch of old art lovers,” Androvich said.
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In June, one of the people to walk through his door was an inspector with the city of Sacramento. This is a town where gadflies walk around and rat out their neighbors for cracks in the sidewalks, and someone on Androvich’s block had apparently called the city and complained about the crowds at his pop-up art parties.
The next day, Androvich was told by the city he couldn’t sell art from his home without a permit – and if he did, he would face stiff fines. So he canceled his July show.
There’s a new movement of young artists whose work is being showcased all around Sacramento, in midtown alleys, sports arenas and new housing projects. But other seasoned artists who weren’t being shown in galleries were doing great at Androvich’s shows, selling their work and paying Androvich a commission much smaller than what a gallery owner typically charges. Patrons loved the setting because it allowed them to see what the artwork might look like in their own homes, not hanging on a gallery wall.
“If I had been making a ton of money, I’d probably be pissed off,” Androvich said. “But it was mostly about the exposure for the artists who don’t get a lot.”
So after a two-month break, Androvich is back. He’ll revive his gallery at his home at 3818 W. Land Park Drive with two parties he’s calling “The Art’s Not-For-Sale” this Thursday and Saturday, from 6 to 9 p.m. He’ll be joined by artists Jeffery Beckerleg, Donna Billick, Larry Johnson, Tom McKeith, Linda Merksamer and Sean Royal.
Steve Hansen is in a bit of a pickle on this one. He’s the councilman representing Land Park, and has to juggle the concerns of neighbors with the city’s desire to foster the arts. He said he’s confident everything will work out and Androvich can keep throwing his parties – as long as he follows the rules.
“I think we’re willing to give it a try,” he said. “It comes down to how we create a respectful environment so one person’s opportunity doesn’t detract from another person’s ability to enjoy their neighborhood.”
Let’s make something very clear so City Hall doesn’t get the wrong idea – no art will be sold at Androvich’s home during the parties. If you see something you like, talk to the artist and arrange a purchase later.
“I’m good with that,” Androvich said. “I just want to have a party.”
And if you happen to be an inspector with the city, we’re terribly sorry, but you’re not invited.