Just like the Jeffersons, The Hill Street Country Club is moving on up. Back in April, we wrote about the Oceanside nonprofit art organization's pop-up art shows in North County. Led by Dinah Poellnitz and Margaret Hernandez, the group aims to grow Oceanside's art scene through monthly events.

"That way, we can build a community where art has a presence and you can feel it when you walk down the street," Poellnitz said in April. "You should be able to do that in Oceanside. If you create opportunities, people will come."

The Hill Street Country Club is one step closer to that goal with the acquisition of a gallery space in downtown Oceanside's "Artist Alley," a small stretch of studios located in an alley just off Coast Highway. The gallery will share the organization's moniker.

Poellnitz and Hernandez will continue to organize pop-up art shows around Oceanside, but, afterward, they'll hang the art in their gallery space for 30 days for anyone who missed the pop-up or wants to revisit the art.

"This changes the game," Poellnitz says. "Our own space will be a headquarters, which allows us to continue to build upon the art scene in Oceanside after a pop-up art shop has ended. Margaret and I were trying to wait until the end of the year to find a gallery space, but we were getting tired of people coming to our shows and wanting to see the art on another day but can't because they don't know when the space is open.

"My doors will always be open for people to see the art whenever they want," she adds. "I'm going to make sure the art is always available."

Along with exhibiting artwork, The Hill Street Country Club Gallery (212 N. Coast Hwy.) will host educational art programming and workshops.

Poellnitz and Hernandez, joined by their new social-media and marketing strategist, Stefa Witt, will get the keys to the space in August. They'll spend a month preparing for their first exhibition in the new space, which will either be a tattoo art show in collaboration with Oceanside Museum of Art or a skateboard-graphics exhibition. It will open in September.

"I want our artists to have the most exposure," Poellnitz says. "We will give the art a home, and I think that makes the artists feel validated. They feel like they're making the step in the right direction in their art career if it's hanging in a gallery."

Write to alexz@sdcitybeat.com. You can also bug her on Twitter.


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