The Tollbooth is on view free to the public 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It is located where Broadway meets 11th Avenue in downtown Tacoma.

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exhibition calendar

For more information, contact tollbooth@ artrod.org







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EXHIBITIONS- Tollbooth Gallery
The Tollbooth Gallery is the World’s Smallest Gallery Dedicated Exclusively to Experimental Video and Wheat-Pasted Paper Fine Arts. The Tollbooth was once a TV-Tacoma information kiosk that had long since been abandoned and abused. During the Summer and Fall of 2003, ArtRod was granted access to this kiosk and given authority by the City of Tacoma to use this former eyesore to program artworks for the public. The brainchild of artists Jared Pappas-Kelley and Michael Lent, the Tollbooth at first seemed like an impossible task. Through a partnership and generous funding with the City of Tacoma Arts Commission, local concrete artist Lynne DiNino and steel artist Joseph Miller were contracted to transform the monolith per ArtRod’s design, and the Tollbooth in its present form was born. The Tollbooth consists of a 24 inch flat-screened video monitor encapsulated into 10’ tall concrete casing with an aluminum roof. The torso of the Tollbooth is made out of a self-healing rubber polymer. This neutral-grey color of the Tollbooth is conducive to changing exhibits by various artists.

The Tollbooth Gallery programs eight exhibits per calendar year of artists and artist-teams. Each artist produces a video loop that is continuously played on the monitor and sound system of the Tollbooth. The opposite side of the Tollbooth allows an expansive space for artists to post paper works relating to their project on the polymer torso. This polymer also prevents extensive damage to gallery by accepting normal wear and tear of commercial bill-posters and graffiti. The remainder of the Tollbooth is solid concrete. While the reverse provides the best space for paper works, the entire structure is available for artists’ use for their interpretation of the project.

The Tollbooth Gallery exists openly on a bustling urban street corner and is therefore visible to an innumerable amount of passersby. Of course the nature of the structure and its exposure to the public 24 hours a day introduces a multitude of scenarios and leaves the structure open not only to scrutiny by the general public, but also vandalism. These situations are expected in these exhibitions, and artists are encouraged to confront their street-level audience as well as account for any abuse or alterations their work may endure. This scenario is intensely unique and produces an opportunity for artists to meet the challenge of such street based work. It also challenges artists who might be more comfortable working with a particular media to create a 360 degree exhibit in the round encompassing various elements. Lastly, it brings artworks away from a traditional museum/gallery setting and literally into the community’s path. Contemporary works that might not otherwise have an opportunity to be viewed outside of the gallery, will now see the light of day (or dark of night) smack dab in the center of the city.