Pop-up art exhibition, Gallery 83, aims to diversify local art scene with summer shows

A new pop-up art gallery set to spotlight women, queer and people of color is opening up this summer in Long Beach.

Every Saturday, beginning July 10 through the end of August, an artist will take over the first-floor space of Violet Tinder Studios, a professional photography studio in Belmont Heights, and showcase their works.

The new pop-up, titled Gallery 83, is the vision of Natasha Martin, photographer and owner of Violet Tinder Studios who moved to Long Beach with her husband in December 2020.

“I’m just trying to be a part of diversifying the art and the media that we consume,” Martin said of her pop-up concept. “There are so many beautiful perspectives and so much beautiful work that doesn’t get enough attention.”

Martin said she always envisioned a space where she could showcase the art of her friends and other up-and-coming artists from overlooked communities but couldn’t realize her dream until launching her studio at 3300 E. Broadway in January. The lofted, two-story building is spacious—some 2,000 square feet—and feels bright and airy, with painted white brick walls and potted plant accents scattered around the space.

The whole first floor—some 600 square feet—will be made available to the artist who will transform the space into their exhibition room. Photo by Natasha Martin.

Martin also decorated the studio with vintage rugs, bright furniture and other quirky props and accessories she’s used in her photography work, which includes clients such as Hello Kitty, skincare company Soap & Glory and hair-dye brand Arctic Fox.

The first floor of the space, which is where the gallery will be presented, is about the size of a three-car garage, ample space for guests to roam while they check out the art.

Kicking off the series is Keith Magruder (known under the moniker Baker’s Son), a mixed media artist who predominately uses watercolors and paper to highlight the socio-political intersectionality of food and culture.

Magruder’s exhibition on July 10 and 11 will present his show “Flea Market” which is a collection of ‘80s and ‘90s pop-culture toys, media and entertainment objects made by hand from paper and painted with watercolors. The result is deceptively realistic replications of 3-D objects.

The remaining artists for July feature street photographer Marcus Ingram on July 24 and painter Jennifer Sullivan on July 31. August artists will be announced leading up to the month.

All the shows will be free to attend and include the opportunity to meet the artist. Most shows will be from noon to 7 p.m.

Martin said if Gallery 83 performs well, she’ll consider continuing the series as a regular event, but ultimately described feeling excited and proud to help contribute to the local art scene this summer.

“I want to help make art more accessible and I want people to feel like this is for them and for Long Beach” she said.

Violet Tinder Studio is at 3300 E. Broadway. The gallery opens at noon until 7 p.m.

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Cheantay Jensen is reporter and award-winning videographer who covers entertainment, art, food and culture for the Hi-lo section of the Long Beach Post. And sometimes breaking news, you know, just to keep things interesting.