Romer Young Gallery
By Paul McDonald
Located at 1240 22nd Street, Romer Young Gallery is owned and managed by husband and wife Vanessa Blaikie and Joey Piziali, who met in 2003 while attending the San Francisco Art Institute. Formerly called "Ping Pong Gallery" — which served mostly as a social hang-out for artists and art enthusiasts, and actually housed a ping pong table — Romer Young has emerged as a more serious endeavor. The gallery sponsors a roster of 12 artists, who show their work at four week intervals. Currently on display are works by German artist Gwenaël Rattke. On November 2nd artists Daniel Tierney and Patrick Brennan will be featured.
Romer Young launched in its current form in 2010. Blaikie and Piziali, Potrero Hill residents, bill the space as "A contemporary art gallery focused on innovative, challenging and ambitious work." The gallery's new moniker is an amalgamation of the maiden names of the co-director’s mothers, who share the same birth date, a coincidence the couple felt merited acknowledgement. Plus their own names are difficult to pronounce.
The roughly 600 square foot gallery houses individual work spaces for Piziali, who focuses on abstract painting, and Blaikie, who pursues print making, painting, and sculptures. The enterprise enables the couple to develop relationships with local, national and international artists. According to Blaikie, five years after graduating from art school, most students are doing things other than art, as the realities of making a living often win out over sticking to the creative process. The couple, who married in 2008, want to stay true to their artistic convictions. Romer Young provides them with a mechanism to hold on to their passion, though they both engage in non-gallery activities to help pay the bills.
After eight years in business in one form or another, the gallery has developed an email list of more than 6,500 names, which grows as each new artist shares their contacts. Romer Young is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment.
For additional information: romeryounggallery.com.
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