Lindsay Peyton
West Seattle residents Brenda and Tim Scallon have recently completing construction on an art and music incubator. Dubbed the ProletariYacht Club, the venue is located in the Building, a studio complex at 4316 SW Othello St. There’s room inside for classes, events, concerts, screenings, readings and art openings. The couple has installed a stage and rolling exhibition walls. There’s also a music lab, wood workshop and sewing area. 

Mobile art show is a dream realized for West Seattle couple

By Lindsay Peyton

West Seattle residents Brenda and Tim Scallon have cast aside the notion that art should be contained within stuffy gallery walls.

The couple took painting on the road – creating a mobile museum out of an Airstream-trailer. They had their first exhibit in the “Caravan Gallery” in 2011 – and have hosted two to four roaming shows a year since then.

The Scallons have now moved on to their next endeavor, recently completing construction on an art and music incubator. Dubbed the ProletariYacht Club, the venue is located in the Building, a studio complex at 4316 SW Othello St.

There’s room inside for classes, events, concerts, screenings, readings and art openings. The couple has installed a stage and rolling exhibition walls. There’s also a music lab, wood workshop and sewing area.

“We want to open this space up to the community, and we want people to explore as many creative activities as they can,” Tim said. “We’ve just begun testing out different ideas. During the next year, we want to build up programming and invite people to participate.”

The Scallons first met in a park in Capitol Hill. Tim was playing Led Zeppelin’s “Rain Song” on his guitar, and Brenda saw him from her seat on the city bus. She decided to get off a stop early to meet him.

“That’s a cool song, but I would play it this way,” Brenda said, bringing out her own guitar to show Tim her take on the tune.

“I said, ‘Who are you? You’re playing it better than I am,’” Tim recalled. “We’ve been together ever since.”

The couple became active in the Ballard art scene, with Tim playing classical guitar at art openings and Brenda becoming co-owner of the neighborhood’s former Black Lab and Parlour gallery. By the time the art space closed its doors in 2001, Brenda had added painting to her repertoire of artistic talents, which also included video, drawing and music.

“I missed having a gallery,” Brenda said. “I wished I had a mobile gallery. Then I found an Airstream. The job was a little bigger than I anticipated.”

She spent about two years renovating the 1974 trailer and then made her debut, which also featured side acts set up in surrounding tents. It was a caravan of creativity, with live music and even a robotic artist.

Taking art on the road seemed natural to someone with Brenda’s background in music. “Playing in bands, you travel, you take it to the streets,” she said. “I like the idea that people can find art in unexpected places.”

She said visitors have been receptive to the concept.

“Sometimes people are intimidated going into a gallery, but everyone wants to look inside an Airstream,” she said.

Tim hopes that the same curiosity will lure people into the ProletariYacht Club.

“What we’re doing is a little unusual,” he said. “But there’s so much we can do. This is a lot of space. It’s just percolating.”

To learn what’s happening at the ProletariYacht Club and where the Caravan Gallery will pop-up next, visit www.acaravan.com.

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