Julie Nester Gallery celebrates one year
When Julie Nester opened her art gallery a year ago, she took a risk. Instead of opening her business on Main Street, she chose a space on Iron Horse Drive. This Friday, Dec. 2, the Julie Nester Gallery will note the end of its first year with a reception and a new show, "Giving."
"Giving" is an exhibition of small works including paintings, sculptures, photographs and mixed-media works.
"It’s something from almost every artist I represent," said Nester. The pieces illustrate the gallery’s full range, including landscapes figurative and abstract works and a variety of colors, textures and feelings. All of the pieces are 24 inches by 24 inches or smaller.
"It’s a great opportunity to show all the work," said Nester.
The show is called "Giving" for a few reasons. The small works make good presents, and the gallery will give a portion of the show’s proceeds to charity. Nester said 10 percent of the sales from "Giving" will go to the Katrina Artists Trust.
The Katrina Artists Trust is a fund established by the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. The trust’s purpose is to provide financial support for visual artists living in the hurricane-affected areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas.
According to Marti Mayo, the museum’s director, the fund is accepting applications from artists suffering significant losses from the hurricane. The organization will distribute its funds based upon the strength of an artists’ work and his or her need.
Nester said the artists participating in her show have been supportive of the gallery’s donation.
"It’s great, and they’re all behind it," she said.
Mayo said that response matches the one her organization has seen.
"We’ve had a lot of wonderful donations from all over the country," she said. "Certainly, we have had the most heartwarming responses from artists themselves."
The show will open with the reception on Friday from 5:30-8 p.m. A variety of the gallery’s artists will be present and, according to Nester, the event will celebrate the gallery’s first anniversary.
"It’s been a good year for us," said Nester. "The location has been a little challenging, but we’ve gotten good word-of-mouth [support]."
With its Iron Horse address, the gallery is located off the path of many tourists.
"The only real challenge is getting people to know I’m here," Nester said.
While business started slow after the gallery’s late-November opening, support grew as the months passed and eventually, people began to take notice.
"I think it really started six months into it," said Nester.
Then, world-of-mouth began to attract more customers, and the gallery took off.
In its second year, the gallery will continue to evolve.
"We’re expanding," said Nester.
The additional space, which will be in the gallery’s back room, will allow Nester to present a solo show in the front room while still displaying works from a variety of artists.
The gallery started featuring approximately 15 contemporary artists, primarily from the San Francisco Bay area. Since then, the business has grown to represent approximately twice as many artists hailing from all over the country.
Now, with the "Giving" show, Nester will have a chance to present those artists together and mark a year of business, while contributing to the Gulf Coast hurricane relief effort.
"It’s going to be just a big celebration," said Nester.
For more information about giving or the Julie Nester Gallery, visit http://www.julienester.com or call 649-7855.
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