A local bar recently asked Jason Zacharias to take down a set of Mike Huwe's abstract prints, four days after the show's opening, due to a customer's complaint.
"The whole point of it was to lift up some local talent who has never had a show before," Zacharias says. He adds: "It wasn't for everybody."
This time last year, Zacharias, 32, oversaw installations at four venues. Today, OpticalReverb's frontman is down to Phantom Canyon as his only consistent display space.
But he's still battling, which is more than some people predicted when he took a four-month trip to his hometown of Kansas City earlier this year. While skeptics questioned OpticalReverb's future, local artists Ryan Ballard and Marc Huebert kept the operation afloat. And while he took care of some personal business, Zacharias says he also organized Kansas City artists whom he hopes to display here somewhere.
"I like to think of all venues as a potential destination for a show," he says. "I jokingly consider OpticalReverb 'the gallery with no/all walls.'"
Working on a "nonexistent" budget, he relies largely on media exposure and hands-on networking. Portfolio submissions via his Web site have also landed about a dozen artists over OpticalReverb's 3 years.
Future endeavors could include incorporating literary works into a "glossy-style" magazine and, eventually, a book. He's also planned shows for The Warehouse Gallery and the Business of Art Center in Manitou Springs.
"The artwork is only a small part of what I'd like to do," Zacharias says. "I want to bring in dinner theater, poetry readings ... the usual stuff. The art is just wall candy."
Phantom Canyon, 2 E. Pikes Peak Ave.
Running through Oct. 4
The Warehouse Gallery, 25 W. Cimarron St.
Nov. 25, 6 p.m.
Visit opticalreverb.com for more.
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