Grass Hut Gallery began on the web, and now to the web it will return: The longtime gallery will close its doors at the end of the year. Grass Hut owner Bwana Spoons says that online shows will continue, however, and toys, zines, art, and more will still be available for purchase through the store on their website.
Grass Hut began as a website in the early 2000s before moving to physical digs on East Burnside, and finally landing in Old Town three years ago. If you've been to Floating World, you've certainly noticed Grass Hut's assortment of high-end toy monsters, painted skate decks, and more in the corner of the shop, often characterized by a sort of cutesy-gross aesthetic.
As Bwana Spoons wrote in an email announcement about closing the shop, "I am fucking stoked to not do it for a little while. I love it, but I give it so little attention. It's always been a fun project, not how i make my living. The driving force behind it has always been the amazing artists that I get to work with there. And honestly I haven't done them justice in a while. I don't promote the shows enough or spend anytime actually trying to sell their work for them. So after 7 years. It's time for a little breather. I'll come back again later or not, or it will be the same or different."
"The same or different." Fair enough!
The Mercury's art director, Justin "Scrappers" Morrison, co-ran Grass Hut for a number of years. He offered some thoughts on Grass Hut's closing:
That place gave all my art heroes a place to go. It was our studio, our shop, our gallery, and my son's first birthday party was there. Grass Hut had such a comfortable vibe, we used to hang out all night drinking beer, making art, and peeing in the sink! My favorite show was when J. Otto Seibold agreed to show with us. He just demanded a place to stay (the Ace hooked us up), a bike, a thrashed old drum set, and a bag of weed (make that two). He rocked all day and night making art with anyone who came by. Even the mayor came!
Really, though Grass Hut was all about Bwana being that fire we all gathered around. I'm glad he's closing Grass Hut, I know it'll just be the beginning of something new that we can all gather around again
I asked Floating World proprietor Jason Leivian what he plans to do with the space Grass Hut is vacating. "I'm going to expand into that space, but then the record store Landfill Rescue Unit is gonna move out of that back corner and they're gonna take a more prominent space along my front window," he explained.
In the mean time, joint show The End, from California artist Tim Biskup and ceramicists Munktiki, is the last show Grass Hut will hold in its current location inside Floating World Comics in Old Town; that opens tomorrow night at First Thursday.