Wednesday, April 24, 2013
For Cider Gallery hours, event space details, more information on the Gateway Brick Project or to schedule a tour of the Entrepreneur Office Hub, visit cidergallery.com. To scheduled a private appointment at the art gallery, email Kim Weinberger at email@example.com or Mara Summers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A taste of Kansas City’s high-end art scene has arrived in East Lawrence, where some of the priciest paintings in town hang inside a once-leaking, crumbling, vacant 1890s warehouse.
The Cider Gallery, 810 Pennsylvania St., is celebrating its completion this week with a grand opening from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday. The gallery, which doubles as an event space, is a sister gallery of Weinberger Fine Art in the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City, Mo.
A $2 million renovation of a former cider vinegar factory created the new venue, a keystone of what’s been dubbed Lawrence’s Warehouse Arts District. An adjacent outdoor event space called the Gateway is under construction, and businesses are expected to move into the Entrepreneur Office Hub on the second floor next week.
Gallery owner Kim Weinberger said she was excited to be part of the emerging neighborhood.
“Being in the creative industry, it’s very special to be able to add to the community and keep developing more creative spaces,” she said. “Other types of businesses follow.”
The Cider Gallery’s first show is a sampling of work by regional and national artists whom Weinberger represents.
Headlining the inaugural show are original paintings by Hunt Slonem, an artist with work in museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. For scale, Slonem’s “Peace Plan” — the Lawrence show’s pièce de résistance — has a price tag of $24,000.
“For us to be able to have his work here in Lawrence is pretty significant,” Weinberger said, adding that area artists can benefit from exhibiting alongside internationally acclaimed artists like Slonem.
Lawrence artists in the show include Stephen Johnson, whose work is featured in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.; Stan Herd, a crop artist and painter who’s also designing the Gateway outdoor space; Clare Doveton, an abstract landscape painter; and John Sebelius, artist-filmmaker and son of former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
Mara Summers, Weinberger’s business partner, said Weinberger Fine Art’s philosophy is connecting people with art. She said the new Cider Gallery was a way to expand that to Lawrence.
“That’s really exciting to do in an area that’s up and coming,” Summers said.
The renovated Cider Gallery maintains much of the building’s rough-hewn roots.
The brick walls and wood floor are original, as are most of the support pillars — massive wooden beams that, in some spots, still have bark hanging on.
For events, the space can accommodate up to 250 seated guests for weddings, cocktail receptions, corporate gatherings or other parties. There’s a catering kitchen, a stage and a bar fashioned out of reclaimed wood from the nearby Poehler Lofts building, 619 E. Eighth St.
Warehouse Arts District developer Tony Krsnich, who partnered with several fellow Kansas University alumni on the Cider Gallery, said he first envisioned the building as market-rate apartments.
But the self-described traditional businessman said he benefited from some of the same conversations with “creative types” he hopes to foster in the district; artists and others encouraged him to think beyond apartments and create more of a “community.”
“We really want there to be something for everybody,” Krsnich said. “And that interaction between people that may not have interacted otherwise, we think that’s a positive.”