- story by Ellis Anderson
One of the premier historic buildings in Old Town Bay St. Louis will soon be home to a new showcase for contemporary art. Gallery Edge is slated to open with a show of work on the evening of August 25.
The gallery will be owned and managed by a cooperative group of ten coast artists, most with regional or even national reputations (see list of artists and links to their websites below).
Each month, the gallery will feature new work by one of the ten artists, while two months of the year, plans call for a group show. The opening show on August 25th will be the first group exhibition.
This Big Buzz
Niolet and her family bought the building shortly before Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and after renovating for several years, opened in 2009. First named “Century Hall” and later “Bay Emporium,” the behemoth building featured a collection of individual shops selling art, antiques, fashion and home furnishings.
“It came together really fast,” said Grabowski. “We had ten artists almost immediately,” noting that there were several other artists who would have been invited if there’d been more time and space.
Grabowski, who teaches internationally and whose Manhattan shows in the past have been reviewed by the New York Times, says that Gallery Edge will be devoted to high caliber contemporary work.
In addition to participating in the Second Saturday Artwalk, Gallery Edge will be hosting monthly art opening receptions on the last Friday of each month.
Smith & Lens Gallery (106 S. Second Street) and the Mockingbird Café (110 S. Second Street) made the evening a popular one with art openings, a night market and live music. Smith & Lens is currently featuring a show of work by Stacey Johnson, one of the new Gallery Edge group.
“By scheduling our openings for the last Friday too, we hope to add to the numbers of people attending,” says Grabowski. “Since our artists represent the entire Mississippi coast, that should help attract new art audiences to the Bay.”
“We want the gallery to be a piece of art itself,” she says. “The way it’s hung and the evolving nature of the work, even our organization. And right now, it’s coming together in the same way a piece of artwork does.”
“It’s tremendously exciting!”
Gallery Edge will be open in Century Hall six days a week, closed Monday.
Gallery Edge Artists:
(most names link to websites where you can see samples of their work)