|Art(ology) Gallery and Gifts 306 Dauphin Street|
I often find it amazing how opportunity comes knocking at the door when it's least expected. Many times this has happened in my life, but because my health has been fragile, I had to watch those opportunities come and go. This past month was no different, except the winds of opportunity blew in and I was able to take them for a magical carpet ride you could say.....with the birth of Art(ology) Inc. William Chesser, who I never had the privileged to meet, but know he was so loved, created the Chesser Gallery at 306 Dauphin that seemed to have a unique spirit about it. Though the space went through a few transitions over the years, and after the Paper Wasp closed, I just felt in my bones it needed to stay a gallery, and be true to the spirit that William placed there.
Now, starting a gallery had been a concept I had thought about a lot, but I knew there was no way physically I could pull that off. I knew that because of my spine and joint problems, I could not open and run a gallery by myself, it just wasn't possible. So, I started considering other options. I had always hoped there would be a gallery in town that had a funky, eclectic vibe to it, and that it would be a co-op. The beauty of a co-op is that several artists with common goals join forces and help one another. It's in the bond of friendship and common goals that co-ops exist and are successful. I had been part of the Cathedral Square Gallery co-op for many years, and as much as I loved it, I just knew a lot of my art didn't quite fit there. So, I started putting the word out to find a small group of artists that wanted to take a risk and start one. I also put a ton of prayer into the idea, trusting that God would open the doors and bring together the right group of people. He did, and the birth of this little gallery on the square is cause for celebration.
Art(ology) Inc. has a unique feel to it. It's not a traditional gallery with only paintings by certain artists in specific places. Rather, the decision was made to approach this as more of a gallery/gift shop, because we felt strongly about several things. One, our downtown area has a lack of nice gift shops available for tourists and those who work downtown. Inside Up is a little gem on Beinville Square, and there are many galleries, but it just seemed that there was a lack of fine craft and gift shops available for the tourist/general market. Two, we felt that an emphasis on smaller, more affordable art was important, especially due to our economy and tourist needs. And three, we knew that a funky, eclectic type of spot would be a nice addition to Cathedral Square.