Can painting escape the evils of capitalism?  Can an artist hope for public recognition not tied to the price per square inch charged by businessmen who must promote work designed to compete in the marketplace?

Here, in Seattle’s Central District, neighbors Sean and Amy, proprietors of Pistil Books Online, have established a Gallerie de l’Allée near the intersection of 14th Ave and Union.  Hanging on two exterior walls of the garage behind their building, the paintings are contributed by local donors.  Evoking a wide spectrum of styles and subjects,  these works are acquired for prices unheard of  from Pioneer Square gallerists:  a maximum of $5 each, regardless of size.  Contributors must, of course, be unafraid of what might befall their treasures:  wind, rain, even the occasional bonfire of partying art lovers.  Meanwhile the work is “out there,” “exposed,” “on view” and in public.