New arts organization's gallery opens Thursday

The Homewood Arts Council is planning the Thursday grand opening of its art gallery at 2023 Ridge Road from 6 to 10 p.m.

Homewood Arts Council will hold a grand opening for its art gallery from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday at 2023 Ridge Road. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
  Homewood Arts Council will
  host a grand opening for its
  art gallery from 6 to 10 p.m.
  Thursday at 2023 Ridge Road.
 
 (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
 

For local art lovers, it will be a prelude to Homewood's Artisan Street Fair, which begins on Friday and will have more than 100 artists and artisan vendors lining Martin Avenue and Hickory Road.

After the June 6 opening, the gallery will be keep the same hours as the street fair: 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 7, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 8. The fair concludes with an after party from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday.

Greg Loudon, co-owner of Bottle & Bottega and co-founder of the arts council, said the gallery will feature local artists.

“The artists either live here, were brought up here, work here or a combination of the above,” he said.

That is in keeping with the organization’s mission to showcase local art and artists and to promote the community in the wider world.

“We think that any vital town that wants to be a destination needs a lively art scene,” he said. “Having a legitimate art gallery says that this place is safe, it’s hip and it’s a desirable place to live.”

The journey has not been an easy one. 

The organization formed in 2018 and held a successful fundraiser in September, the 0.3K "run." Earlier this year it held its first public meetings to gather interested local artists together to begin networking and shaping the organization.

Plans began to take shape to open a gallery, but the first site, a unit in the Triumph Building at 2033 Ridge Road, was deemed unsuitable for occupancy by village officials. The cost to make that space work was prohibitive for a young nonprofit organization, Loudon said.

Then the organization was offered space in the former Spaahs Skincare and Bodyworx shop at 2023 Ridge Road.

The council cleaned up and painted the space, adding a window sign. 

That opportunity also presented complications with village requirements for the building. At least twice, Loudon thought the project was dead. In each case, the council met with village officials and worked out the problem.

Loudon said the opening of the gallery marks a big moment for the fledgling organization, which will now turn its efforts toward membership, networking and more fundraising. 

"We just recently gave $500 for a scholarship to the art students at H-F High School," he said. "Hopefully (that's) just a start."

More information:
Homewood Arts Council

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