Parking lots are transitional zones — full of vehicles, perhaps, but archetypal as open, empty spaces with an infinite number of possible functions beyond simply where to leave your car while you attend to business inside. Though often attached to private property, these are public spaces on some level; places where teenagers used to sleep out for concert tickets and tailgaters still barbeque, communities throw summertime carnivals, demonstrators gather to support or indict civic policies; where people buy contraband, wait for friends, fight to the death for tiny plots of land for their cars and then promptly forget where they left them. Curated by Keith Walsh and Suzanne Adelman — married artists with very different personal practices — The Optimist's Parking Lot explores the allegorical dimensions of the car park as a site of optimism and imagination, with its pregnant emptiness operating, not unlike the gallery itself, as a metaphoric blank slate from which artists create the future out of thin air, filling the empty places with ideas, objects and experiences intended for collective experience. More than 20 artists whose work explores psychological dimensions and public engagement respond to the state of current affairs in art, politics, economics, the environment, etc., entirely as they see fit, parking their ambitions for sculpture, painting, video and mixed-media installations throughout the renovated industrial building's wide-open floor plan.

Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Aug. 13. Continues through Sept. 25, 2011

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