State of the art: “Qualia” by Justin Lovato to open at The Chambers Project in Nevada City |

State of the art: “Qualia” by Justin Lovato to open at The Chambers Project in Nevada City

Chambers Project Gallery director Jono Boyer and Brian Chambers sit under a new pen drawing by Justin Lovato of a mountain landscape. Lovato will be in town for the opening of his solo show at the gallery beginning Saturday night at 6 p.m.
Elias Funez/

Those seeking the curious and unusual will likely find themselves right at home at The Chamber Project.

The gallery, which opened in Nevada City’s Seven Hills Business District this summer, is a home for unique and imaginative art of all mediums. In fact, the gallery’s owner Brian Chambers said that it’s rare for any of the art in his Argall Way space to bear any resemblance to reality.

“Generally speaking I am most interested in the abstract, nonfigurative work,” said Chambers. “Personally I like to collect abstract pieces that don’t really remind me of anything in particular. I like to wonder what I’m looking at.”

Beginning today, Chambers will be hosting the first solo art show in his gallery, a collection of work called “Qualia” by painter and illustrator Justin Lovato.

Lovato is no stranger to the Gold Country. His colorful floral mural has become an attraction of sorts, fixed on the corner of Mill and Main streets in Grass Valley.

The art Lovato will have on display at The Chambers Project will differ greatly from the mural, and will focus more on his complex pen drawings.

“This is the biggest pen drawing I have ever seen,” said Chambers, admiring a 4-foot by 8-foot illustration hung prominently on the gallery’s wall.

“(Lovato is) so good with a pen that I really wanted to just showcase that and show it off. This is probably about as literal as anything you’ll see here.”

Today’s opening of “Qualia” promises to be a lively affair. Chambers said DJs will be spinning vinyl and there will be a steady supply of beverages, food and conversation. Pieces from Lovato’s collection will be available for sale.

The party lasts from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will give the community a chance to see Lovato’s complex drawings up close and personal.

Chambers said he has a number of shows planned for the remainder of the year and invites the community to come in and check out the unique work done by artists both local and from afar.

“We are going to be doing the best we can to show as much of the awesome local art as there is around here,” said Chambers. “There’s definitely a very strong creative and artistic community. We want to create a community space where people of every age can come and see the taste in art that my friends and I have.”

“Qualia” will be on view through Oct. 27 at The Chambers Project, 103 Argall Way in Nevada City. The gallery is open weekdays 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., and weekends by appointment.

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at or 530-477-4231.

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