Businesses devote space to local artists

Gallery space increasing

So many artists, so little gallery space.


Richard Gwin/Journal-World Photo

Isaac Tanner, manager at Fields Gallery, 712 Mass., hangs a print on a wall. The gallery is using part of its space to showcase Lawrence artists.

That's been the common refrain heard throughout Lawrence for the last several years. While there have always been numerous working artists, the problem has been finding space for all of them to share their work.

But with several new galleries opening and existing businesses converting space to show artwork, it is getting a little easier for an artist to find an audience.

Here is a brief rundown of some of the new places that are seeking area artwork to display:

� Fields Gallery, 712 Mass.

Until recently all of the store's space was devoted to commercial framing and print work. Then, owner Kim Kern, a painter himself, decided to change a few things around. When he finished, all of his framing tables were moved downstairs and roughly half of the store's floor space is now devoted to showcasing Lawrence artists.

"We're going to constantly rotate several artists over a three- to six-month period. Artists should send in slides, and if we like them, we'll add them in," gallery manager Isaac Tanner said.

The store will devote wall space for paintings and photography while also making some floor space available for sculptures and even video displays.

� Art Cornerstone, 925 Iowa.

"Mainly, we use floor space for three-dimensional displays and our wall space for traditional, two-dimensional paintings," Charles McGuyer, gallery manager, said.

The business will focus on two artists in rotation each month and hopes to branch out into other art mediums including ceramics and mixed media.

Art Cornerstone is new to the city and focuses on supplying the art community with needed materials.

� Wheatfield's Bakery and Cafe, 904 Vt.

A fire last spring meant that artists had one less space to display their talents, but now that the bakery-cafe has been renovated, its gallery space also has reopened.

Wheatfield's focuses on the work of one artist at a time.

"There's quite a waiting list to get in, but now that we're open, the art is up again," shift manager Emily Chaskelson said.

� Carmesi, 1012 Mass.

Working under the assumption that potential art buyers are sometimes intimidated by a traditional art gallery setting, the owners of the new Carmesi store mix their gallery displays with furniture and area settings to give potential clients ideas on how art can be displayed in the home.

"We're brand new babies and kind of hard to define," owner Nancy Ness said.

The store combines a fine arts gallery that has oils, pastels, watercolors, acrylics, photography, blown glass, ceramics and woodwork with home furnishings designs.

"It's user-friendly," Ness said. "People can see how the art is being used and that is having an effect on selling art in Lawrence. About 80 percent of our space is occupied by the gallery."


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