New Name Brings Great Art Experience

Jennifer and Shannon ReddenMichele Daigle

Changing its name from the Art Emporium to the Gatsby Gallery to give a more art deco feel, we now have our very own art gallery on Main Street.  Have you been there yet?  You should, because it is fascinating.  There are paintings, photographs, amazing sculptures, pottery, glass work and even some edible art you can enjoy.  You can see or buy inexpensive prints and original works of art.  You can even find a shot glass that is created to look like a pistol.  There is indeed something for everyone.

One of the important features is that the owners, Jennifer and Shannon Redden, want you to be comfortable as you browse.  They do not hover. Rather, you are free to take your time and look around.  It has been said that it will take you three passes through the shop to see half of what they have.  And that may be optimistic as you get entranced with the different creations. However, if you have questions, the owners, as well as employee, Michele Daigle, are more than happy to help.  Take advantage of the help.  For example, there are some wire sculptures of horses that are absolutely fascinating. But Michele showed me that with proper lighting, the shadow of the wire sculpture is itself an artistic design that is part of the appeal when you see the shadow projected on a wall or table.

Here’s a little more on what you may find.  One artist takes a cup of tea and spills it onto paper.  Then he looks for designs or patterns much like you might look for patterns in cloud formations.  Then he paints the patterns.  The results are fantastic.  Another artist uses bright colors as the main focus.  But what is interesting is that the paintings are not done with a brush, but a palette knife (think of painting with a putty knife).  You can stand back and enjoy the blends of color, or you can look closer and see how creatively the colors are put together to give surprising detail to the painting.

Gatsby Gallery has several different areas you can browse.  There is a corner that features color; another focuses on equine paintings and sculpture.  The bourbon industry is also represented on one wall.  The variety of techniques used in the art is truly surprising and impressive.  For example, most of us print a photograph on paper.  But when you print it on canvas, the effect is quite different and amazing.  Or you may see a painting that has bits and pieces of paper, string or other materials included in the picture.  Again, the effect is startling.

Going into Gatsby Gallery is an adventure.  You can, as already mentioned wander on your own or take advantage of the expertise that Jennifer, Shannon and Michele bring to the world of art.  You do not need to be intimidated if you are an art novice.  You do not need to understand the subtle techniques used in a particular work of art.  If you enjoy the work, that is all that counts.  However, asking questions can help you gain a greater appreciation for the skill that went into creating a work of art.

Any artist interested in having their work displayed can make an appointment with Jennifer and Shannon and discuss their art.  Appointments are available on Saturdays at 10:00 or 11:00. Gatsby Gallery is open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  It is drawing people from all over Central Kentucky which is great, so be sure you stop by as well. By the way, one of the attractions is the window display.  Currently, it is a winter scene that Michelle designed.  It is a work of art in itself.  When you are visiting downtown, be sure to check out the Gatsby Gallery.  For more information about the gallery, check out their Facebook page.

-Written by Don West

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