We sat down with owner of Monroe Galleries (previously 44 Monroe Art Studio and Gallery), Jami Childers in her new studio to talk about what to expect in early 2016.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about owning a business so close to Hemming Park?
Hemming Park is alive with fun happenings and events. We will be expanding our hours and hope to tap into all that is going on.
Q: What do you love about owning a business Downtown?
It’s so much fun to be a part of a community that is growing. There is so much support here!
Q: Describe Downtown’s progress since you opened 44 Monroe Art Studio & Gallery and have now relocated to your second location (formerly Grease Rags Clothing Co.)?
I think that there are many people moving into the heart of Downtown and they are ready to support it. We just have to give them what they need. Being open on the weekends like some of the newer restaurants is what is changing things here. We decided to move (two doors down) so we could offer our clients a wider range of local art and design elements. In our newly renovated location, patrons can find all they need for their home and one-of-a-kind gifts.
Q: Why did you decide to relocate your business?
Honestly, we were really busting at the seams in our smaller location. We have a year’s waiting list of artists that want to show in our gallery. Now we have the space to allow for more artists to display with us. We are also bringing in local craftsmen and their wares. Dustin Bradley (our designer) will take all these elements and create beautiful displays, just like he has for the past year designing our windows.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about owning an art gallery?
My favorite thing about owning an art gallery has been providing a cool spot for artists to show their work. There is nothing like seeing the look on the faces of the artists when they sell a piece of work and the collector walks away with something they will forever cherish. An artist paints for the joy and release of creating and when someone relates to that and wants to take it home and enjoy it forever, that’s what it’s all about. I am lucky that I get to see that when I do my portrait commissions. This last year I had the privilege of painting a portrait of a beautiful young girl who had passed away. Her parents were so greatful to have her portrait painted. It just makes my job so fulfilling.
Q: What are you most excited about with Monroe Galleries?
Being able to bring all of us together under one roof so we can all do what we love is what I am excited about. It will be awesome to provide a place for customers to find all they need to fill their home with unique items. We want to be that place where you go to purchase things you can’t find anywhere else. We are making Downtown the place to be!
To learn more about Jami and all of the other artists exhibiting at Monroe Galleries, be sure to visit them at 40 W. Monroe St., Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are also open during the First Wednesday Art Walk with live entertainment, food and lots of local art and gifts.