Scranton coworking space Coalwork to host “Back to the Future” themed “Great Scott!” art show opening reception Oct. 21
SCRANTON—The then-future Oct. 21, 2015 setting depicted in “Back to the Future: Part II” has inspired a number of tributes, celebrations and commercial opportunities. Universal’s faux trailer for “Jaws 19,” the film playing at the theater Marty walks by in the film. Last week’s topical news from the company Hendo that, along with help from skateboarder Tony Hawk, they’ve designed the aptly-titled Hendo 2.0 hoverboard. The screening of the BttF trilogy in theaters across the country. Not all celebrations are so extravagant, though. Some are smaller affairs, like the “Back to the Future” art show at Coalwork in Scranton, but that doesn’t mean Coalwork Founding Member Kyle Ruane isn’t aiming to energize the event with 1.21 gigawatts of excitement.
“I’m a huge fan,” Ruane said. “Most of our members are big fans of pop culture in general, but we’re all ’80s kids at heart. Lately we’ve been doing events at our space like art shows for First Friday and I’ve been trying to think of a way to do something that was a little out-of-the-box from what other places are doing in the area. The date we wanted to hold our event just so happens to be the date they travel to in ‘Back to the Future: Part II,’ so that became our theme. We think everybody’s going to have a great time with it.”
Coalwork is a coworking space opened last October in the Scranton Life Building on Courthouse Square. An area can be rented in the space for a membership fee of $250/month (daily rentals with varying fees are available) and comes with access to a desk, WiFi, coffee and other basic office amenities. Ruane described the space as a well-equipped workplace alternative, but he feels that the main resource available at Coalwork is the atmosphere its members perpetuate.
“A lot of the people that use the space are using it instead of working in their basement or house alone,” Ruane said. “In that regard, they get the kind of energy that being around other people provides. They see someone next to them working on their business, so they get inspired to work on their business a little more. People also share information. We have a guy who’s a home inspector and someone might ask him a question about their house or real estate if they’re looking to buy. There’s shared knowledge; there’s an energy about being in a room with other people that’s tough to quantify.”
The “Great Scott!” art show is an extension of that philosophy. The show, which will stay up until November’s First Friday, will start with a kickoff party at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 21 that will feature a DJ and a special BttF-themed aesthetic to kick the event into a gear high enough to reach 88 mph. Ruane also expects some BttF cosplay at the event, which he hopes comes across as a casual art show alternative.
“I’ve been trying to think of something more fun, causal and laid back than a stuffy art show,” Ruane said. “We had no submission criteria other than it be ‘Back to the Future’ themed in some way. I really wanted to get some different pieces in, different mediums. The more interesting the better in my opinion because you can see pencil drawings, paintings and photography at any gallery anywhere, but if we were to get some pieces that could fit the theme and were completely new to people I think that would make people want to show up.”
Coalwork is looking for people to fill the space during their non-party days too. They’re working on future events, but according to Ruane, they’d like people to become a part of their community and hold events at the space, like the “Great Scott!” art show, themselves. Coalwork is giving art connoisseurs, “Back to the Future” fans and pop culture aficionados good reason to visit their space between the Oct. 21 party and November’s First Friday—if the idea of art inspired by Marty, Doc Brown and the rest of the BttF universe sounds intriguing, get to Coalwork before the show runs Outatime.
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts