“In the end it comes down to community” – Gus Gscheidle and his 1fiftyone gallery + art space

by Zornitsa Stoyanova for thinkingdance.net

1fiftyone gallery + art space is raw. Situated on the fourth and fifth floor of an Old City building, it is a new home for the experimental—dance, theater, music and performance. Gus Gscheidle, a visual artist, graphic designer, and lover of dance and performance, runs it. I met Gus six years ago through our mutual friend choreographer Annie Wilson.

One gloomy January morning, I climbed the creaking stairs to the fourth floor to talk to him about his passions, commitment to Philly underground performance, and hopes for the future.

I’ve always known… that I wanted to do something in art. Maybe that’s because that’s what I was praised for, because I was naturally good at [it]. And I know that I have fallen in love with the dance and theater community here.

Men often have interesting stories when it comes to how they discovered dance and Gus is no exception. While attending art school in the late 80’s he had a “summer romance” with a young woman who was studying to be a ballerina. Ten years later, circumstance or maybe faith connected him with Philadelphia dance maker Myra Bazell. At the time they both frequented the same coffee shop and started talking. One thing led to another and Gus ended up designing Myra’s Fringe show posters. It took another ten years before dance made another attempt to seep into Gus’ life. In 2007 he decided to quit his graphic design job and focus more on his paintings. Inadvertently, the decision led him to teaching Commercial Art in Philadelphia’s public schools.

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