The gallery began nearly a year ago as four women — Erin Beyer, Annie Cox, Katie Magruder and Sarah Valdez — began renovation on the mother-in-law apartment behind the house they shared. After three months of work, the space began hosting arts events. By January of 2014 the group and friends would often be seen relaxing in the driveway, wine in SOLO cups, welcoming visitors to the neighborhood and gallery.
Valdez looks back fondly on the genesis of the space. She says of the time, “Epoxy came into fruition because four young women wanted to extend their ideas, work ethics and collaborative processes to the Tampa Bay art community.”
Though Epoxy’s shows and exhibitions spanned a wide variety of styles, mediums and practices, there was a constant. Each event paired two artists, often people who have never worked together but generally proved to be complementary to each other. This was in line with their “cross-platform” philosophy, orchestrating atypical combinations and collaborations to drive artistic possibilities.
“When the space was presented to friends who might have not shown within a 'gallery' style presentation, the white cube became a world of opportunities,” Valdez says. “We experienced artists and friends doing really brave things with their work because we belched out ‘Do whatever you want, and we'll figure it out.’”
In a way, Epoxy’s shuttering opens artistic possibilities for the four women behind the gallery space. Valdez admits, “The project exceed much of our expectations with how much obligation and dedication it took.”
The closure allows Beyer, Cox, Magruder and Valdez freedom to pursue new creative projects. Valdez remains optimistic. “You don't need much to bring people together to experience a happening, you just need to make it happen,” she says. “I'm excited for what will pop-up next!”
Epoxy wouldn’t appear to mean much. As far as mother-in-law apartments go, the space at 1202 E. Henry Ave. was small. As an art gallery it was tiny. However, the self-described Seminole Heights “cross-platform gallery space” experienced the sort of confluence of artists, musicians and students that is rare and perhaps inevitably brief. Epoxy announced Tuesday that it is closing its doors.