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Night Gallery

Going Gothic in Riverwest

Oct. 14, 2011
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As the singer for Dummy Club and the Psychobunnies, Stoney Rivera brought a Gothic tinge, an echo of Anne Rice, to her music. It's no shock, then, that she brings the same spirit to her art gallery, Dominion Gallery (804 E. Wright St.).

When Dominion quietly opened earlier this month, Rivera unveiled a collection of signed and numbered Clive Barker prints along with companionable pieces by Milwaukee artists. Several mixed media works by the excellent Ed Pociecha, a veteran artist and actor with a penchant for manifesting the ghostly dimensions of Shakespeare, share the space with Little Nick, whose tastes run to hot rods and rockabilly, and a spooky piece by an unknown artist depicting a Depression-era newsboy with an unsettlingly intense stare.

Dominion will remind Rod Serling fans of his '70s show, “Night Gallery,” whose horror vignettes were introduced and framed by uncanny art work. “I don't draw a hard line,” Rivera says, describing the focus of her gallery as “artists who are pouring something of themselves into their work. Some people might say my vision is too dark, but dark can be good—it can be honest.”

The Riverwest storefront housing Dominion was a fixer-upper when Riviera took over this past summer, but it's a building with a certain history. It was the office of the Shepherd Express
in the late '80s and still bears the paper's name outside in concrete. Dominion has beautifully polished wooden floors, a comfortable futon and coffee table in the one corner and white walls fitfully lit by sparse track lights. Black curtains are drawn across the windows.

For Dominion's grand opening, on Oct. 21, Rivera will feature the Gothic paintings of Britain's Kim Sandum, the “crazy abstractions” (Rivera's words) of a Milwaukee painter known only as 5, along with a poetry reading by Desmond Bone and a screening of Mark G.E.'s disturbing film Dark House

In a thumb to the eye (or stake in the heart?) of the snobby art world, Rivera plans to keep the art affordable for the general public. “I've lived in Riverwest for many years and wanted to find a spot here,” she says. “I want the gallery to be diverse— culturally and on every other level. I'm anxious to water this garden and see how it grows.”

Dominion Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and closes whenever. The gallery is closed Sunday and open by appointment only on Monday. Contact Rivera at: dominiongallery@hotmail.com.


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