Dec. 8 2015 12:00 AM

Dia Bassett and Vijay Hingorani open up new space with a show about mentorship

Vijay Hingorani and Dia Bassett

Like many buildings and warehouses in Barrio Logan, 1878 Main St., Unit D, is cavernous and awe-inspiring. The type of place you walk into and think to yourself, "Oh, the things I could do here."

Vijay Hingorani had that feeling. When I visit him at the space, he's making a sign for his new Gallery D using a giant 3D printer in the glass-encased office in the back. He points out that for years the space was being used for landscaping equipment storage. Before that it was a gallery, so there wasn't much he had to change with the overall design. Now that he has it, he hopes to use it not only as a studio for his own sculptural art, but to showcase local and emerging artists as well.

"I've always had this bug in me to want to start a gallery," says Hingorani, who works a day job as a biotech consultant. "I wasn't necessarily looking for a space when I found this one and had to jump on it."

Despite a rather drab exterior (Hingorani is quick to point out that the aforementioned 3D printed sign will help with that), the space is quite lovely on the inside. Like many places in Barrio Logan, it has the feel of a once-proud warehouse space where the design still holds up after decades.

"It's such a great space in that you can add to it almost whatever you want or need," says Dia Bassett, who will serve as Gallery D's primary show curator.

Bassett has worked as a part-time curator for Planet Rooth Design Haus and has teamed up with organizations like A Ship in the Woods in the past. She's always been fascinated with the dynamic between art students and their teachers, especially since the teachers are often artists themselves. She decided to explore this theme in what will be Gallery D's inaugural show, It Takes an Artist: A Show About Mentorship, which opens Dec. 12 from 6 to 10 p.m. during the monthly Barrio Art Crawl. The show includes work from artists like Bhavna Mehta, Lee Puffer, Beliz Iristay and more.

"All of the artists are going to show pieces of their own as well as pieces from the student they teach," Bassett says. "But it's not like a typical faculty and student show, because everyone is in different places with their art. It's a nice mix of all ages and styles."

Hingorani also makes it clear that he won't be using the space to promote his own work.

"I'm not ready to show my own stuff yet," he says. "Maybe some day, but I'd like to focus on others first. A lot of people advised me not to open my own gallery, but against my better judgment I just couldn't pass on the opportunity."


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