Birmingham visual-arts group VINEGAR now has two new spaces to showcase artists’ work

Birmingham visual-arts group VINEGAR new space
Ready to vacation at this Airbnb? You might have to share the space with a few artists. Photo via VINEGAR’s Facebook.

If you hadn’t heard of VINEGAR before, you’re right on time to learn all about the women-led nonprofit. The visual-arts group just obtained its first brick-and-mortar spaces, Airbnb X VINEGAR located downtown and VINEGAR Contemporary in Forest Park.

Check out what you can expect to see when you visit. Plus, don’t forget to join them for its exhibition opening reception at Airbnb X VINEGAR on Wednesday.

What is VINEGAR? Incredibly cool. Here’s why.

art at AIRBNB X VINEGAR
Having one location at an Airbnb allows artists to put their work on display in an unconventional setting.  It’s also an opportunity to show people what it might look like to live with the art in your homes. Photo via VINEGAR’s Facebook.

The Birmingham-based nonprofit, led by Melissa Robert Yes and Ann Trondson, stages exhibitions for artists within the city and across the country. They’re artist-run, meaning in addition to hosting exhibitions the team also creates pieces themselves.

“We will do everything we can to bring artists together, exhibit their work, pay them, challenge them, support their needs, build a community, and help them thrive. In order to achieve this, we have a parallel goal to create sustainability for our organization.”

Melissa Robert Yes and Ann Trondson

Although VINEGAR as an art collective has existed for over a year, the nonprofit aspect of the organization has only been a part of the plan for several months.

Melissa and Ann were inspired by organizations led by artists, cis-women, trans-spectrum or non-binary individuals, Persons of Color, and other marginalized groups. A few examples include the ctrl+shft collective in Oakland and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Did anyone else know MoMa was founded by women?

The exhibits encourage the viewer to challenge their original way of thinking, as well as promote diversity and understanding. Since its start in 2018, they’ve received a lot of positive feedback from the community.

Oh, they also literally make vinegar:

Until obtaining the spaces, VINEGAR was nomadic, but they’ll still carry that spirit with them into the new locations. You may have seen their exhibitions at places like Moss Rock Festival or Trim Tab Brewing. Yep, they’ve been all over the city.

Take a look at what they’re doing for our community

Birmingham visual-arts group VINEGAR Contemporary storefront
VINEGAR Contemporary before renovations began. Photo via VINEGAR.

The spaces are already cool on their own, but the concept behind them is equally as interesting—a “circulatory system.”

In its Airbnb space, VINEGAR shows local art to Birmingham’s visitors and neighbors. At VINEGAR Contemporary they’ll show art from around the region and country to our community here. Hence the circle in “circulatory.”

“Having these spaces allows us to connect with other communities and organizations, as we will have the ability to bring artists, scholars, and other culture-makers to Birmingham from near and far. We especially want to build relationships with other arts organizations in Birmingham and in the Southeast. “

Melissa Robert Yes and Ann Trondson
A digital sketch of artist Tess Elliot's upcoming work for the space in Forest Park
A digital sketch of artist Tess Elliot’s upcoming work for the space in Forest Park, which will be titled BEZOZON. You can see this exhibit at VINEGAR Contemporary’s grand opening on February 21. Photo via VINEGAR.

Airbnb X VINEGAR hosts bi-monthly exhibits featuring artists’ work in all media. VINEGAR says they seek out artwork that is conceptually rigorous and visually compelling.  They understand that artists need to sell work to survive and thrive, and support that notion in this space

Ok, I want to visit NOW.

 Birmingham visual-arts group VINEGAR video installation
The first show at AIRBNB X VINEGAR featured installations, videos, paintings, and photographs from the entire VINEGAR team. Photo via VINEGAR’s Facebook.

Two words: dance parties. In addition to exhibitions, they plan to host screenings, performances, artists’ lectures, community roundtables, dance parties, and more.

“VINEGAR is a place where deep conversations, playful delight, discomfort, and pleasure can all exist and be held in equal esteem.”

Melissa Robert Yes and Ann Trondson

The group’s headquarters and exhibition space, VINEGAR Contemporary, is located at 701 37th St. S. in Forest Park. What better place for an organization that champions artists than in a place full of rich history growth, and other inspiring local businesses?

While still under renovation, after raising almost $10,000 for the updates, VINEGAR Contemporary is coming along quickly and will be open to the public this February.

“For us, community means many things, including, and especially, artists—both locals and artists from out of town. With our new spaces, we will be able to exhibit artists’ projects in a more robust and sustained fashion, and we hope that those exhibitions will excite people and get their gears turning”

Melissa Robert Yes and Ann Trondson

Airbnb X VINEGAR is located in two adjoining apartments near historic Alabama and Lyric theaters at 214 18th St. N. Unlike the permanence of VINEGAR Contemporary, this is a joint project between VINEGAR and a private Airbnb owner.

Want to see Birmingham’s coolest new art exhibits for yourself? Come to VINEGAR’s upcoming events at Airbnb X VINEGAR on Jan. 8 and the grand opening of VINEGAR Contemporary on February 21 from 5–8PM.

If you’re an artist interested in working with VINEGAR or want to find out how you can become a creative contributor reach out to hello@vinegarprojects.org.

Follow VINEGAR on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on future exhibits.

Have you seen VINEGAR’s exhibits around the city? Share your experience with us @bhamnow!