Little Rock Arkansas, you are missing the best part of your city. 
The beginners, the emerging artists. 
I feel it’s time to build a foundation. 
I entered the Little Rock community in 2010 and hit the ground running, leading up to my first show in 2012 at the wonderful but discontinued Ketz gallery in North Little Rock.I was determined to find my way into the city’s art community. Over the past years I broke circles and blended people together with friendship and positive reinforcements of their goals and talents. 
In 2013, with the company of two respected artists, an underground cartoonist and a muralist, we approached Jay at gallery 360 which lead to Bunker Dogs. 
It turned heads.
January 2014 started the year off with a group show at gallery 360 titled “ICE BOX” where I learned how to curate a full on gallery group show with local emerging artists and unknowingly paving the way for 2 more ice box shows the following years. Many different shows would fallow through out those years including a print maker show titled “Pressure” among other pop up shops and zine nights and so many more I can’t list(forgive my memory) it looked as if gallery 360 was our foundation. 
It was but built around hard work and passion for the community and not on a strong financial backing meaning all of the expenses being out of pocket and in spare time, which didn’t work all the time. So shows slowed down and where few and far between.  
July 20th 2018 opening night of “echelon” my solo show  at the William F Laman library in North Little Rock (Argenta) I worked so much for and had such a wonderful experience and I am so grateful. I felt like I made it to a point to be proud to say I am an artist. Then on August 2nd  I was woken up by strange phone number saying my mother was in some medical trouble and could not reach her. Dropping everything in Little Rock to drive three and a half hours to north west Arkansas to my granddad who is 90 years young and had no idea what happened. Now knowing she suffered from a brain aneurysm and was in emergency surgery by the time I made it to my granddads side. I’ve been care taking at my parents house ever since.
Mom is home safe  from the hospital and things are not really back to normal yet but seems I will be here for the whole month of August. 
In this time I have battled a rollercoaster of emotions,anxiety, depression,anger and fear. I found out through this time is my idea for Gallery 360 must happen. It must.
But not just happen for me. 
But for Little Rock and what it’s missing.
A strong foundation for the emerging artist.
If I meet my funding goal my plan is to feature 7-8 one month long solo or duo visual art shows with strict guidelines to showcase female and people of color / people of diverse backgrounds for one whole year and beyond.Starting in January 2019 with ICE BOX 4, an all female local artist group show to kick start the year. Each show will have post cards made for the participating artist with help from myself and others to guide and educate the individuals for future shows and professional development. Including artists resumes, bios, artist statements,framing,hanging and most importantly networking. Building and showcasing these shows will fill a void in Little Rock as well as Arkansas as a whole. 
Our foundation has to be equal to be strong. We shall achieve the underground cultural hub we all want and need. 

Funding would facilitate -

• New gallery sign (the big one out front)

-Rent for one whole year with utilities and WiFi. 
• With overhead covered would allow for a very small percent taken from sales of art work giving the artist up to 80% of sales 

-Printing post cards, organizing press releases,wine and hors d’oeuvres for the openings. 

• Frames, hanging hardware, contact sheets, custom business cards for individual showing artists. 

It would be a dream come true to become the person I wish was around when I started my journey. To give what was given to me... a chance. 
I understand how tight money is for a lot of us so just sharing this is all I ask. 
If you feel inclined to donate I will draw and paint until my hands fall off for each an every one of you. 

Thank you for your time,
Matthew Castellano 
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Matthew Castellano 
Little Rock, AR

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