Lesley Hensley, owner of the new art gallery Grease Trap, recently came into possession of numerous mannequins and mannequin parts. As she and Kerry Myers, the gallery’s marketing director, sifted through them, an innovative idea arose: Give them to local artists and let the results form an art show.
“Each artist gets to do as they want with the mannequin; it’s their creative freedom,” Hensley said. “We had male, female, bottom parts, full bodies, arms, legs, pregnant torsos … they got to come and pick out which piece or two they’d like to paint. It’s going to look like a big graffiti wall of body parts.”
The resulting exhibition, Local Parts, is only the second show for the Trap, but one in which Hensley said the entire community was clamoring to take part.
“The response was pretty amazing,” she said. “Everyone was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, are you serious?’ Because mannequins are not something you get to see every day. It kind of caught on like wildfire.”
According to Myers, about 35 people participated.
“That’s one thing I wanted to push for this show: This is for artistic people, too, not just artists,” Myers said. “We have social media people, musicians and people who are involved in the community, as well as artists. It gives these people a chance to show the community their creative side.”
Other than promoting local talent, both Hensley and Myers said there is a deeper purpose of Local Parts: to benefit arts programs for The Boys & Girls Club, for which both women serve as volunteers.
“Over the past couple of years, we’ve encountered children who really don’t have the means or resources to create the incredible things they could if they had the right canvas, the right paint or the right tools,” Myers said. “Our focus is to get The Boys & Girls Club stocked with art supplies so that these kids who are in the after-school program can have the tools they need to be creative and help develop them into being more artistic human beings.”
With art shows geared to a 25-andover demographic with a strong taste in the most cultish pop culture possible, Hensley believes that exhibitions like Local Parts will give Grease Trap a reputation as one of the metro’s most unique galleries.
“It’s more about the space and making art for the space rather than just bringing art to the space,” Hensley said.
“Local Parts is going to set us apart because … it’s not only going to look like an art gallery but a whole art installation. It’s a small space with a big impact, and it’s going to be awesome.”