Curator and gallerist Frank Rose was one of the founding minds behind form & concept, but the longtime lover of Latin arts strikes out on his own this week with a new Canyon Road space dubbed Hecho a Mano. Rose kicks things off with a show of prints from Guatemalan-born artist Carlos Mérida (6 pm Friday March 29. Free. Through April 27. 826 Canyon Road, 916-1341), who lived and worked in Mexico City for much of his career. We kicked things off with a few questions.
With the artscape changing so much, why open a gallery on Canyon Road now?
I definitely wasn't tracking on Canyon when I was wanting to open up a space. It didn't even enter my mind. It's almost like the space found me. I was working at Opuntia for a little bit, and Bobby [Beals] overheard me talking about a space, said his space was available—and it was kind of like me coming into agreement with it. It's small and manageable, it's at the top of Canyon Road. It … felt like there was room for a new story with Currents there; Thoma Foundation is off Canyon. It seems like there's room for new stories.
You seem focused on Mexico-based artists so far. Do you plan to expand in the coming months or years?
Y'know, I would like it to be a sort of border-neutral exploration of the Americas. I'm starting with Oaxaca and Santa Fe and people I know, because that's what I know—and I've been going to Oaxaca for a little bit, so I have relationships there. I could see myself getting into other parts of the Latin world, and hey, why not Canada, too?
At the end of the day, what do you hope to accomplish? Will there ever be a point where you believe you'll feel like you've "gotten there?"
No, I don't think so. There could come a point when I might want to move on and do something different. What I'm kind of aiming for is summed up in the name of the business: Hecho a Mano; handmade. My aesthetic is fairly intuitive, and I think right now one of the things that's important to me in connecting makers with the objects with the viewer or buyer. Making sure people know these objects are made by people and recognizing the cycle of creation, having it be apparent that the hand is in the work, that you can see the types of mark-making.