Oct. 11 2016 05:30 PM

All-female East County group plans pop-up garden shows throughout the county

On the Edge Art Collective
Photo by Seth Combs

With a name like On the Edge Art Collective, one might expect a posse of 20-something hipsters posted up in a Barrio Logan warehouse painting on discarded pieces of plywood. Instead, I'm standing in the San Carlos home of On the Edge member Bebe Brookman listening to more than a dozen women discuss everything from their grandchildren to who made the delicious potluck potato salad.

"I'd love it if someone considered my work to be edgy," jokes Sandee Bass.

In reality, the collective of 15 female artists got their name from the On the Edge Art Gallery in La Mesa. Previously, On the Edge collective member Midge Hyde had curated the gallery. She said she started the collective last year in hopes that they'd help each other be better artists.

"When we work together, we can push ourselves and each other to the edge a little bit," Hyde says.

While the meetings were originally held in Hyde's home, it wasn't long before the group needed more space.

"I sort of recruited Bebe because her house was so big," says Hyde jokingly. "We really wanted to make it where we could get together, make art and, well, eat. At my house we would have just have been eating."

The group started meeting on the first Monday of every month and worked primarily in Brookman's foyer. Around this time, Hyde read an article about people in New York doing pop-up apartment and garden shows and decided that it would be a good fit for On the Edge. For their first group show on Sunday, Oct. 23, titled Dirty Brushes, Brookman says to expect varying kinds of art in every corner of her house (located at 6378 Lake Athabaska Place) and the backyard garden. Ultimately, the hope is that the shows will catch on and inspire others to do the same.

"I ultimately envision it as people coming and seeing the gardens and wanting to do a show in their own garden," says Brookman, who adds that there are already plans for hosting future arts shows in gardens all over San Diego.

The collective is open to new members, but the women giggle when asked if men are welcome. They'd be open to it, but for now, they're just happy to have a place where they're free to create with other women.

"It's hard to show at many galleries, because they can be so constraining for individuals," says Gegna. "The fact that we are so diverse is one of our greatest strengths."

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