Tonight’s your very last chance to say goodbye to the Montrose Avenue location of Alt Space– the netty, uber-hip physical incarnation of Alt Citizen. We told you last week that the gallery slash super-fetch fashion boutique would close at the end of the month, and now the time is upon us. But we also promised you more deets about where founder Nasa Hadizadeh and the Alt crew would be headed.
Turns out, the alt kid crew’s riding this baby blue short bus off into the sunset for an “epic U.S. tour.” Nasa said she bought the lil’ guy for the equivalent of a month’s worth of rent at the Montrose space– in short: totally worth it. “The idea is basically to create Alt Space in different cities across America,” she explained. “We’re going to create a unique shopping experience with art, and live music all together. We’ll have local bands performa and feature work by local artists.”Nasa’s dubbed this the “Nowhere Now Tour,” a five-week-long excursion with a handful of others including her sister, an intern, and Grace Miceli of Art Baby online gallery, who will be curating a traveling art exhibition. They’ll be making stops in Los Angeles, SXSW, and a bunch of places in between. “Throughout the country we’re going to find DIY venues and galleries that we can just kind of do our thing in,” Nasa explained. Having met countless bands throughout the years from her work as editor-in-chief at Alt Citizen, which is primarily a music writing publication, Nasa said that she was inspired by touring, which is “this old method that’s proven to work for years in building a fan base and a community.”
Alt Space is known for its art shows that attract a slew of cool kids who come to check out art (like Girls at Night on the Internet, whose mantra was basically “hell no, no old white dudes”) and pick over their goods. The venue features pop-up shops stocked with items hand selected by artists and musicians. Some of the Alt Space merch is so cool that it could be lifted from another dimension, like those two-dimensional bags a la Super Mario World (I swear to you I’ve seen people do triple-takes when someone boards the train strapped with one of those babies). But apparently Nasa wants to expand Alt Space’s repertoire to include artists and designers from outside New York City, too. “I grew up here, so I’ve been wanting to get out of the city,” she said. “And it’s like this way to meet artists from other cities who may be interested in having their stuff for sale at our shop online and also at our next gallery location.”
As for the bus, Nasa says they plan to give it a complete cosmetic overhaul to fit the Alt Space aesthetic we’ve come to know and love. “It’s a ’97 Chevy, it was actually a van that was converted into a school bus,” Nasa explained. “The thing that’s cool about school buses is that they have all these safety regulations and they need to be checked regularly because children are in it, so it’s in really good condition.” Which means more money for weird decorations.
To check out the bus before it embarks and see Alt Space one last time, hit up Anarchy and Ecstasy, the very last show. It’s happening tonight, January 29 from 7 pm to late. The show is curated by Travis Egedy aka Picture Plane and includes work by local greats like punk artist Alexander Heir, the witchy, psychedelically-attuned Kelsey Niziolek, and the very intriguing Milton Melvin Croissant III.
Alt Space is located at 41 Montrose Avenue in Williamsburg.