On a visit to Bunny Gunner‘s new digs in the old Pigale Optical Parlor space at 230 W. Bonita Ave. in Claremont, I was directed outside from the framing shop and art gallery to see the Hole in the Wall Gallery in the breezeway. First pass through, looking for a door, I missed it. Then someone pointed it out to me.
It’s a cabinet in the wall, about the size of a shoebox, that probably once held a fire extinguisher. Bunny Gunner co-owner Juan Thorp said he’d noticed the empty cabinet when he’d moved in to a nearby space two years ago and got Pigale owner David Wilson’s permission to make use of it. Thorp had turned a similar receptacle in an alley behind his former space in Pomona into a tiny art space too.
“This was empty and I loved it,” Thorp told me as we admired his handiwork. “Dave said go for it. He said it was a drug drop in the ’70s.”
Thorp put in plexiglas and a new light (there’s a key and lock too) and christened the space the Hole in the Wall Gallery. It lives up to its name.
Artist Anne Seltzer has the current show, if that’s not too grand a name for the single piece inside the space. It’s titled “…and now for my next trick” and is priced at $95.
“I’m a fan of alternative spaces,” Seltzer told me, mentioning that she had installed the Little Free Library box at eye level in a nearby alley behind Heroes and Legends. She’s had sculptures or paintings in the tiny gallery several times and has sold half a dozen of them.
Of the location, Seltzer said: “It’s fun to come up on.” In my case, you might come up on it and not even realize it. Keep an eye out for it.