The Fort Wayne area has an array of talented artists, and Artworks, The Galleria of Fine Art plans to showcase and sell their work.
The gallery in Jefferson Pointe mall opened June 8, but it will hold a grand opening champagne artist reception 6-10 p.m. Saturday to celebrate its opening and the start of a new exhibition, “In Full Blume.” Mayor Tom Henry will take part in a ribbon cutting at 6 p.m.
Admission to the event is free. Food will be provided by Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano, and Robert Nance, president and artistic director of local choral group Heartland Sings, will perform on piano.
The “In Full Blume” exhibit will feature the work of Fort Wayne native Janet Blumenthal, who now lives in Arizona, said Teri Marquart, gallery director.
The exhibit also will feature pieces by five local artists whose work will always be on display at the gallery — Penny French-Deal, Vicki Junk-Wright, Karen Moriarty, Terry Ratliff and Santa Brink — as well as art by Diana Miller-Pierce and Edward Alvarez.
The gallery has some big names behind it: The owning partners are Keith Busse, founder of Steel Dynamics; Ian Rolland, former chairman and CEO of Lincoln National Corp.; Bruce Dye, CEO of Hotel Fitness and former CEO of Heritage Food Service Equipment; and Santa Brink, a local artist and a private educational consultant for special-needs children.
“We definitely, wholeheartedly, believe this community can support more galleries than it has,” Marquart said.
Artworks, which specializes in contemporary art by local artists, occupies the former Gap store location, which is on the inner courtyard side of the section of Jefferson Pointe including the mall office, DeBrand Fine Chocolates and Panera Bread.
The large space, with its light, hardwood floors and high ceilings, provides ample room for displaying a variety of art. The large main gallery will be used for hanging art, Marquart said. The Boutique area features jewelry, ceramics and prints by area artists.
Marquart said they would like to include sculptures in the main gallery and art by woodworkers, glass artists and metalworkers in the Boutique.
Artworks plans to open a new exhibition of art, with an artist reception, on the second Saturday of each month, Marquart said.
“People who buy art, they get more invested in the art if they actually have met the artist,” she said.
All art at Artworks is for sale, and artists set their prices, Marquart said. The gallery also sells via the Internet at www.artworksgalleria.com.
In addition, staff can assist with where to place a piece of art in a home or office and with art collecting.