Sunday, March 29, 2009

In Memorial: Greg Six 1958-2009

One of the pivotal figures of the High Street New-Wave of the early 1980's passed away March of 2009 after a long fight with a brain tumor. Greg Six (also known as Grey Six)was in several early new wave groups like the Highly Evolved Cosmic Beings, The Dustbunnies, and Girlboys. Though rarely recorded, the spirit and the creativity of the groups as well as the other band members who went on to do other new-wave projects, Greg Six's influence threw a wide net. He even booked himself as a professor at one point, and Greg's intellectualism was sure to result in some brainy discussion on stage.
Above: Greg Six with wife April in October, 2008.

Greg Six being given courage by Chas Krider who put together a memorial service at the Ohio Gallery on King Ave. March 23, 2009. A similar memorial service took place on the West Coast by fellow Dustbunny Dave Kulczyk. Greg has been living on the West Coast for over 20 years.

Some old photos of Greg in the early 1980's were displayed at the memorial service. Top color picture was Greg with many of his new-wave pals at his Smith Place apartment in the North Short North. Below is another picture of Greg Six at Smith Place. He had a large toy collection and a constant playful mood. He was known for his taste in music, having the latest English new-wave record before everyone else.

At the Ohio Gallery memorial service were many of his old friends. Above Left is Tim Anstaett, who published The Offense Newsletter the main High Street fanzine onYesterd music during the entire 1980's. He currently does a radio show on WCRS called Yesterday's Top Secrets. Center is Charles Wince, an important artist in his own right today, once illustrated Greg Six's early Lyrics. On the right is Catherine Whittier another friend of Greg's.
Greg Six's legacy will live forever. His intellectual response to the early new-wave was a fresh approach from the dark, mentally disturbed music of the time. Below is an old video of the Highly Evolved Cosmic Beings performance with Greg Six singing lead.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Last of the Dark Hops: March 2009

Thanks to warm weather and the Arnold Fitness Classic the March Gallery Hops were one of the crowded in memory, especially when it came to traffic and parking. Depending when you touched-down in the Short North, you might have spend a half hour or more in the car trying to legally park. The lights on the arches seemed to hypnotize the crowd. Yet, daylight savings time began that night and by the April Gallery Hop it will only be dark for the last half of the event. Many Short North businesses were either not open or were open for a very strict period ending at 10 o'clock. A run of bad winter weather in the last three months probably caused a number of plans for the March Hop to be cancelled.
The galleries and sidewalks attracted a crowd that was elbow to elbow. (above: Mahan and Rivet Galleries) It seemed to be a crowd that has not been to the High Street openings for months or years. People from the Arnold Fitness Classic were as likely to head north to the OSU Campus or Arena District than the Short North. This meant parking was filling up in all directions. Then the major construction sites in the Short North took away sidewalks.( Oh yeh, there is a crane towering over the North Short North now).
Monkey's Retreat (above) is starting to do great window displays of art at Fifth and High St.
Gallery 772 in the upstairs hallway of the Body Shop has shown some consistently interesting paintings, but it is hard to find out the artists' names. New was a long series of paintings where stripes of paint covered the front pages of the Columbus Dispatch for the few weeks after 9-11-2001.
The Sherrie Gallery was showing porcelain sculpture by Julie Elkins. Her pieces had a cabin with smoke coming out of a chimney found on cliffs or chunks of earth with amazing detail.
Kickstart Coffee and scooter shop (left)had a live guitar player wailing away but with few people occupying the seats and tables. RoyGBiv (right) had a photographer and a painter both using trees in a forest as subject matter.
Waldo's (above left) had a show of small photographs, while Utrecht's Art Supply had a real live artist painting next to their colorful front door. Many musicians played along High Street.
An interesting promotional concept was done by two little known galleries. Zengenius Gallery in the Prescott Alley ( two tiny blocks east of High Street) teamed up with a new Tattoo Shop called Sovereign Collective in the original Mahan Gallery space at 3rd and High St. A few pieces were cut in half with one part at one gallery and half at another. Sovereign Collective (above) had a large art show with a grand opening crowd. One piece (above right) asked people to make a wish and add a rock to a pile of rocks suspended by thin pantyhose over a plate of glass. Eventually the rocks would come crashing down and break the glass.

In terms of closures in the Short North, they seem to be mounting in 2009. East Village bar is closed. Four Winds is an empty space. A jewelry store in the new Dakota condo building has vanished. The Cap has a couple of empty spaces. Other empty storefronts along High Street will be joined by new ones that are being built in the near future. Could more art galleries soon afford the Short North?