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UPDATE: VersuS gallery to open Saturday night at new location

— Along with the art and music, Empire Brewing will provide some adult beverages, while Lost & Fondue will provide the finger foods. The booze and food will be free.

Jonathan Cantrell, founder and director of VersuS, has been renting the property for a year with his partner Abigail Henson, and they hope to one day own it. Cantrell, along with Heagerty, are co-curating the event. Together, the three have started a place they hope will blossom into a showcase for artists. Heagerty said they plan to have a new exhibit every eight weeks, but that’s not set in stone. There is no entry fee for the artists.

Heagerty gave The Eagle a tour of the new venue on May 10 and explained the operation. He also said he was the one who mapped the place out, deciding what artist would set up where.

“I have a lot of experience working with run-down buildings,” he said, referring to the work he put in at the Gear Factory. “When I first saw it, I started planning it out in my head, pairing this artist with that, deciding what will go where.”

It’s easy to miss the place. You will see a big lit-up sign with the letters “VS,” and that’s how you know you’ve arrived. There is a free parking lot kiddie corner to the building, which sits next newly planted beds of flowers, which the VersuS crew helped plant.

It’s certainly an unusual place for an art show, as the building used to be an adult learning center, but now is a concrete cave with exorbitant raw space, something Heagerty says is attractive to artists. It’s also in one of the neighborhoods that’s, well, not the nicest in the city.

“That’s the point,” Heagerty said. “We want to bring people to parts of the city where they wouldn’t have any reason to be otherwise.”

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