North Park Art Community Drama: Is this really necessary?

North Park Nights are officially moving to the 3rd Saturday of the month starting in March in an attempt to separate from Ray at Night which will continue to be on the 2nd Saturday of the month. What does this mean for the hundreds of people that attend the event(s) each month? Well, it could mean a couple of things…
1) There will be two Ray at Night events (most people really don’t know about North Park Nights as an event) OR
2) Both events will suffer since half the galleries belong to one of the two groups.

So you might be asking… what in the world is going on? Why would the businesses split the event in two? What is the difference? Well, I will attempt to explain the nonsense:

Ray at Night was started in 2001 by Gustof Rooth, owner of Planet Rooth gallery on Ray Street and an informal collective of art galleries in the North Park area (artist buddies) to bring together the artist community and create an “art scene” on Ray Street. The event involved bringing in a band, opening the galleries and giving out free food and drinks. The following businesses are part of the Ray at Night collective:
* Planet Rooth Studio Gallery
* Santos & Cirello Gallery
* San Diego Art Department
* 4 Walls Gallery
* Obr Architecture
* Sharp Studio Gallery
* Luxe Hair Studio
* Soul Ryde
* Enclothe

North Park Nights technically started in October of last year by the San Diego Art Institute as a non-profit organization of a broader collective of art galleries, theaters, studios and supportive business. These businesses and artists want to promote art in the community rather than just create a scene for drinking and hanging out in the street. The event expands beyond Ray Street to include the dance studios on 30th and some of the restaurants and clothing stores. Check out the map and list of the 36 participating North Park Nights businesses.

Each of the North Park Nights events will be themed, with March’s theme being “It’s Complicated,” a group showing featuring controversial themed artwork and events in various businesses and galleries. At the core of the theme stresses the complicatedness of the “break-up” between Ray at Night and North Park Nights.

I really don’t think the intention of North Park Nights is to completely exclude the Ray at Night businesses… only to the extent to convince them that it is more about the “art” than the “scene”. But what neither group realizes is that the public doesn’t give a care about the drama and truthfully will barely notice the difference. Guaranteed that the Ray at Night businesses will be open on North Park Nights events and visa versa. Ray at Night events will be smaller, contained on Ray Street but will still be jumping with art scenesters. Take your pick. More art for all of us.


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