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Arts & Culture

Collective: From mortuary to 'rasquache' mayhem



Collective souls: Britt Rae San MIguel, Rachel Dealy, Reggie De La Garza, and Gabe Quintanilla.

Way back in 1893 French sociologist Émile Durkeim coined the phrase "collective consciousness" — a belief system in which individuals share ideas and achieve solidarity by acting as a community. Hidden a few blocks past Southtown, a trio of group thinkers called the Collective is attempting to put that concept into action inside a now-pink former mortuary. "Collective is a building and idea. It's about resource sharing and responsible consumerism," says Rachel Dealy, the 28-year-old founder of the Collective and owner of RAD Vintage & Thrift.

Inspired by an Austin-based anarchist collaborative group (and partly because of a lifelong illness that requires frequent down time), Dealy decided to research and ultimately create a collaborative work place. After launching an online shop and weathering some rezoning scuffles attempting to launch the business from her home, Dealy teamed up with fellow online retailer Reggie De La Garza, owner of vintage/custom housewares online shop Antediluvian. At about the same time, bike-culture enthusiast Gabe Quintanilla was searching out commercial space for his company, the Cycle Pit — formed after a bike accident and subsequent vision of bike-parts jewelry and accessories. "Success to me would really be to have a small staff that's actively engaged and to provide health care to employees," Dealy said.

Rasquachismo — making do with what's at hand — defines this trio's art and lifestyle. On a wall behind a desk discarded paint cans have been turned into shelving units, and vintage fabric patterns become new as they're refashioned into decorative pillows. In Quintanilla's hands, bike parts become body adornments and reworked tires are fabric.

At their grand opening last month, I was greeted with an array of different faces: bikers, artists, gutter punks, and small family groups gathered as Cryin' D.T. Buffkin and the Bad Breath played an acoustic set in the lot behind the shop. To help inspire community conversation, expect regular workshops on a variety of themes. This week, folks can catch a horror film screening and trivia contest hosted by Lawrence Mercado, owner of local special effects company NotBox Fx. "We really want people to come in here with ideas, and people from all walks of life are welcome," Dealy says.


1432 S St. Mary's
(210) 531-9250
Hours: 11am-7pm Tues-Sun
Dario Argento Double Feature featuring a Trivia contest with special effects company NotBoxFx
Deep Red and Suspiria
$2 suggested donation
8pm Thurs, July 26

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