There are preppy, pushy PR people and
then there's Vickisa. As the promo goddess for Gallery Route One in
Point Reye Station, she takes public relations to a new level. If I've
learned one thing as a journalist, it's how to see through the PR shtick.
Vickisa, however, is irresistible. Perhaps it's because she's also an
artist member of Gallery Route One, so she is truly connected to what
she's promoting, but she's a total firecracker, She oozes enthusiasm
in a nonconfrontational way that makes you begin to believe in whatever
she believes in. The event that gets Vickisa most excited every year
is "The Box Show."
I finally started to understand her enthusiasm fully last Saturday when
I checked out the show myself. As Vickisa promised, the boxes were an
amazing sight to behold, but I am behind the times. Now in its fifth
year and encompassing the works of 150 artists, this annual fund-raiser
for the nonprofit Gallery Route One has become a phenomenon --- so much
so that there's even a film about it.
San Francisco filmmaker Victoria Lewis was so taken with "The Box
Show" when she first experienced it in 2000 that she immediately
decided to make a film about it. For the past 15 years, Lewis has worked
as an art director/set decorator on feature films in order to make enough
money to create her own films. Her documentaries have been shown on
The Learning Channel, PBS, and at film festivals. She knew she had found
something special when she saw "The Box Show."
"Each box came alive for me and I was totally enchanted,"
Lewis says of her reaction. She likened seeing the show to being in
some sort of fantasyland.
Lewis has been working on her film The Box Show for the past
three years. At first, she just wanted to focus on the boxes and the
artists discussing their boxes, but as she spent more time at the gallery,
she realized there was much more to the story. Lewis has decided to
explore the concept of Gallery Route One as a vital and vibrant community
asset as well. She's also looking at the show from, literally, square
one---when artist and "Box Show" mastermind Nick Corcoran
is crafting all of the 7-by-7-inch pine boxes for the participating
artists to use.
"I've just kind of hit pay dirt with this gallery," Lewis
says. "It's a gold mine of ideas and creativity."
"These boxes are inspiring," she adds, noting that they come
from a variety of places and offer the gamut of messages. Some serves
as healing projects for the artists, others reveal an environmental
or political message and many are merely whimsical. "Every box
kind of addresses something in our hearts and soul. I think these boxes
are a metaphor for what art means to people."
The show, now called "The Original Box Show," is on display
through September 7. You"ll be blown away by the unique collection
of boxes before your eyes. They've been turned in to purses, skateboarders,
mobiles, Airstreams and objects you couldn't even imagine. You can bid
on your favorite boxes anytime, although the final bidding takes place
at the Closing Party. A rough cut of Lewis's The Box Show will screen
at the gallery from 3-5 pm August 31 - September 7. Lewis hopes to complete
the film in 2007 and aims to get it on the film festival circuit as
well as on stations like PBS or BBC's Channel 4.
"From the time you go into this art show, you just forget about
everything and enter the world of these boxes," Lewis says. "I
would like to share their work with the world. I just think this little
gallery is a gem we have here in the Bay Area."