"To be honest, I don't even know what we're going to do," says Josh Pavlick as he glances over the piles of posters, art work and random memorabilia he and curator Mindy Solis are sorting through in the back of the Helmuth Projects space in Bankers Hill. "It's just a treasure trove of weird, cool stuff."
Among the piles are vintage wrestling and black-light posters, as well as countless pictures and promotional materials for '60s and '70s rock bands. Pavlick and Solis are sorting through all of it to find items for Misc BS, a new Helmuth show opening Saturday, April 30, at 7 p.m. All of the items are from Mike Millsap, owner of the neighboring Tasha's Music City store, which has the distinction of being the oldest record shop in San Diego (it's been around since the '60s). While the store has moved several times over the years, Millsap cites the rising cost of rent and his own health as the main reasons he recently decided to close for good. He says he has two storage units filled with records and other things he's collected over the years.
"I just kept stuff because I thought, 'Well, let's not get rid of this,'" says the 67-year-old Millsap. "Turns out it's ephemera, which is a word I didn't even know existed. I just thought it was basically crap."
Crap or not, Solis plans to sort it out and create an installation that resembles a vintage "kid's bedroom." At the opening, there will be musical performances from Jack Name and White Magic among the ephemera. What's more, the Misc BS show will also mark the beginning of the end for Helmuth Projects, at least in its current form. Pavlick says he'll have two more shows over the next few months, but isn't sure what he'll do with the space after that.
Until then, he's content helping Solis sort through all of Millsap's collection in order to find the weird, cool stuff they'll need for the show. And while they both seem a little bummed about Millsap closing shop, the man himself says it's time.
"I don't consider it bittersweet, because this decision has been years in the making," says Millsap, who plans on enjoying retirement while also trying to sell some of the stuff he's collected over the years. "I've lounged around that store for a year saying I've got to get out. It's overdue."