SooVAC excises a “Toomer”


by Jay Gabler | 5/22/09

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The Soo Visual Arts Center is renaming its tiny Toomer Gallery: the space will now be known as Gallery Too. Using too as a homophone for two is a tired device in Hollywood—Teen Wolf Too, Look Who’s Talking Too—but in this case it does play on the spelling of “Soo,” as did the original gallery name, explained SooVAC executive director Suzy Greenberg in an e-mail.

I’d always assumed “Toomer” was the name of a big donor, making the gallery a companion in awkwardness to the Guthrie’s Wurtele Thrust Stage. But no, notes Greenberg: the name was made up—and in fact, it was supposed to evoke a cancerous growth. “The name originally came from the idea of it being a small space growing within the main gallery,” wrote Greenberg, “and having a bit of a mind of its own. In writing this concept works since the spelling references the spelling of Soo…unfortunately it doesn’t sound as good said aloud. At the point that I started to feel uncomfortable saying it I felt that it was probably a good idea to change it up.”

It’s definitely a change for the better, but my suggestion would have been to call it SooVAC Two: Electric Soogaloo.

Image: Work by Plasticgod at what is now Gallery Too. Photo by Chris Gallevo (Creative Commons)

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