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Recent visit to artist studio

I forgot how much I enjoyed visiting artists in their studios.  Last week I was lucky enough to visit West Point and stop by Lee Gibson’s and Pat Gavin’s studios.

Lee Gibson has been with the gallery for several years and although I had seen photos of her studio, I have never been in it.  Her studio sits behind her bungalow home in the heart of West Point, but it is surprising large and welcoming.  Immediately after walking in, the smell of oil paint fills the space, which shouldn’t be surprising.  Her paintings consist of thick oil paint as she recreates with a pallet knife the animals and images of Mississippi.  She is a prolific artist, which is necessary since she is one of Caron Gallery’s most popular artists.  I picked up a new painting of a bulldog and a commission for a customer, a large Rooster.  I’ve already had someone wanting to buy the rooster before I could deliver and hang in the customer’s home.

Pat Gavin is a potter and brand is new to Caron Gallery.  He creates traditional functional pottery, as well as Raku.  He specializes in prayer/meditation houses, which are great gift ideas for those special people in our lives.  He has been creating pottery for many years and has work in several galleries in Mississippi.  I can’t wait for the community to see his works.  The glazes Pat uses are traditional but with a modern flare, allowing customers to find a wide selection of choices from the potters at Caron Gallery.

I can’t wait until next week as I head to another artist’s studio to pick up more work for the fall season.  This is the fun side of my job, bookkeeping not so much.

End of Busy Summer

End of Busy Summer

As the summer comes to an end, I realize what a whirlwind the last few months has been.  June began by Richard and I traveling to New Your City with the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau to participate in the Mississippi Picnic in the Park.  We met so many people from MS living in NYC, as well as locals who have never left the city.  Such a great opportunity to share some of what MS artists have to offer.

In July, we hosted a wine and art dinner with Park Heights Restaurant with special guests Norm Rush, who spoke about summer white wines, and Charlie Buckley, Tupelo artist.  It was a huge crowd and we were fortunate to see one of Charlie’s works in progress, the Oxford Square.  Charlie’s painting technique is incredible, with an example of his work, the Lee County Court House, still hanging in our front window.

In August, I was given the opportunity from the Tupelo CVB to attend the Southeast Tourism Society’s Marketing College.  I was fortunate to win a scholarship to attend after participating in the Tupelo CVB leadership program.  I spent a week with other retailers and attractions managers plus  tourism  staff members learning how to showcase what our local towns have to offer.  Tupelo is so very fortunate to be way ahead of the game in marketing our community to the nation and world.  Elvis may get visitors to Tupelo, but our local CVB staff shows tourists there are so many reasons to stay and see what makes Tupelo so special.

As August came to a close, we celebrated the gallery’s Fourth Anniversary.  Thank you to our customers and community for helping us continue to offer art from Mississippi to the world.  We had a great crowd show up and was another reminder why Tupelo is such a great place to live.

 

New version of logo

In anticipation of our move to the new building, I wanted to better define what the gallery represented.  So a couple weeks ago Richard Tucker and I met at the new building to discuss how to incorporate the feel of the new space in all our marketing materials.  The new building has 15 foot brick and bead board walls and concrete and tile floors.  It has a much warmer tone then our present gallery space and so much more open. I will be introducing 4-6 new artists in the new building as well.  There will be greater display space for pottery, jewelry, and sculptures.

With the new space, there will be a separate workspace for our framing department.  It will have better display of moulding samples for custom framing with more samples to choose.  Plus, we will have some edgy, modern styles to fit the diverse artwork we display as well as meeting the design trends that customers are searching for in decorating their homes for today’s southern style.

Here is a sneak peak at our new building before it’s complete.  Plus, take a look at our updated logo.  Hope to see you in our new gallery space after October 13.

 

 

Gallery’s new home

Gallery’s New Home

Wow!  I can’t believe we are moving to a new spot in downtown Tupelo.  I had always imagined the gallery being located in an old building, with tall brick walls and quaint features.  Three years ago, we had to beg for someone to lease a space to us.  The rent was reasonable, the building was old, but not a whole lot of character.  The space had been an old bank with two vaults in the back, so a lot of wasted space, but good dry spots for storing art.  Now, our new spot has one side that’s all brick and then the other side is brick and bead board.  The owners truly are committed to renovating back to what it looked like over 50 years ago.  There will be space for a framing department workroom and better space to display the frame samples.  There will be tons of floor space to display all the pottery, hand made jewelry and sculptures.  The walls will be 15 feet tall, so tons of space to hang art!  I can’t wait to move and display all the art we have from the talented artists in Mississippi.  Here is a sneak peek at where will be moving to and I will post updates over the next few weeks.

New Website and Fresh Look

New Website and Fresh Look

When I decided to open the gallery three and a half years ago, I was determined the gallery website would be an integral part of it.  I felt the website should come before the storefront.  I knew it was very important to have an internet presence from day one.  I spent months with the graphic designer, Casey Zumwalt, creating and working out many details of the websites appearance and functionality.  Casey developed the logo and listened patiently to all my ideas, even when I didn’t realize that some of the things I wanted the website to do, wasn’t always so easy to create.  I knew what I wanted in a website and just assumed it could be done.  In the end, Casey was able to take all my ideas and expectations and make them a reality.  Once the website was up and running, I began to recruit artists.  Seeing the artists biographies and artwork uploaded to the new website was amazing.  Even more amazing was I could do the administration of the website on my own, after a little training.  I take great ownership in the website and am very protective of how it looks and what is placed on it.  So, the decision to change to a different hosting company was very difficult.  I felt that the gallery had grown and new technology developed  in the past three years, that a change had to be made.  This week, the change occurred and it was very hard to see the original concept disappear and the new website go live.  I was somewhat sick realizing that for two days, no one could find the website or our artists’ images.  Plus, I had no email access!  I never realized how dependent the gallery is on its website.  The gallery and I have survived the transition and everything looks great.  Thanks to all our supporters for their patience this week.  Please let me know if you have any suggestions or problems navigating the website.  Here’s to many years of showcasing Mississippi’s artists!

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