For a few months now, Beauty & Brawn Art Gallery and Thinkspace has been branching out. The owner, Lindsey Meyers, is collaborating with her new business partner, Simone Garcia, to fully devote their time to Sinergia, a curating service for a variety of businesses and locations.
Sinergia — Spanish for synergy — is doing work on behalf of Beauty & Brawn Art Gallery and Thinkspace. Work earlier this year includes a Vivian Maier darkroom at SoHo House, mural curation and flying drones. The two met in March of this year during Simone’s show, Once Upon a Wall. Portions of this show will be on display this Saturday, Dec. 17, for a party to commemorate the Beauty & Brawn space at 7 pm. Beauty & Brawn will be vacating its current space in 2017.
Although the party is meant to celebrate the Beauty & Brawn space and the people who have been part of it, the work isn’t over.
After living in Logan Square for about nine years, Meyers opened the space at 3501 W. Fullerton Ave. in March 2012. Her passion was real, as she put everything — house, car, etc. — up for financing to get the space. The space came to life, hosting events, educating artists, focusing on the community and remaining a for-profit gallery.
As the contacts and opportunities grew, it felt natural to expand. “It started to make more and more sense that we could take these projects and these shows and these artists and work with them outside of these four walls. And truth be told, selfishly, it’s going to give me and us a lot more freedom,” Meyers said. This is the reason for the storefront to close. “I wanted for us to turn the page while it’s still good.” Meyers predicts that people will question reasons for the closing, but “it’s nothing tragic. It’s time to move on.” Additionally, Beauty & Brawn will retain its online gallery.
Sinergia’s mission is to enhance everyday environments by exhibiting artists of all levels of recognition. Naturally, those everyday environments include public art. One project the two worked together on brought the new mural of Muddy Waters to the corners of Washington and State streets downtown. “People love to see creativity, and they love to see color, and they love to see design. Art brightens people’s days up in ways that we know intimately. To be part of that and to help people with that is something that we’re fortunate to do,” Garcia said.
The two are also operating as Sinergia to reach businesses and provide art for those who visit, such as their work with the L luxury apartment developments. Naturally, that comes with its own set of controversy. But they have reasons for partnering with the highly debated developments. “A lot of people talk about gentrification and how these buildings are changing the face of the neighborhood,” Garcia said. “Well, you know what, the face of the neighborhood was already changing five years ago. Rather than leave these businesses to shape the neighborhood in their vision, we felt like why not be engaged with them and help bring them into the fold. Regardless of whether you like it or not, people are already living there. People have accepted it that have the income to afford those spaces. Rather than be adversarial, why not show them how to ingratiate themselves and integrate themselves into the community?”
To bring art to as many people as possible, the duo is working with businesses of all kinds to provide an engaging experience with the audience, no matter the medium. For example, they worked with chefs and street artists to have a sort of artistic battle at SoHo House Chicago.
More is in store, with the scope and scale of the curatorial work of Sinergia only growing. Meyers and Garcia are even working with the Toronto Arts Council. Be on the lookout for other impressive developments.
In the meantime, Meyers and Garcia are hosting a party at the gallery space on Saturday at 7 pm. The bash will include drinks, hugs and memories shared.
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated how long Lindsey Meyers lived in Logan Square before opening Beauty & Brawn Art Gallery and Thinkspace. She lived in the neighborhood for nine years prior to opening her storefront, as opposed to four. The text has been corrected.