‘LEMONS HAPPEN’: IBX closure sparks new gallery opening
Published 8:08 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2015
When life gave the artists of Inner Banks Artisans’ Center lemons, a few turned right back around and made lemonade.
Monday, Lemonade Art Gallery will open its doors at 201 W. Main St. in downtown Washington. Artists Carol Mann, Jerry Bradley, Sue Beck, Doris Schneider and Jan Lamoreaux — all previously found at the foreclosed-upon artisans’ center — are the official owners of the new gallery, studio and classroom space in the building that once held the popular downtown eatery The Curiosity Shoppe. Like Inner Banks, Lemonade will also feature the work of a select number of juried artists, but on a smaller scale.
With lofty tin ceilings and exposed brick walls, the street side of Lemonade will hold the gallery. Behind the gallery are the working spaces for the five artists: for Beck’s jewelry; Mann’s and Bradley’s watercolors; Schneider’s jewelry and masks; and Lamoreaux’s painted, wearable silks.
The work of eight of the nine other artists exhibiting at Lemonade Art Gallery will be well-known to those familiar with area artists: Pat Holscher’s watercolors and Dan Nelson’s acrylics, who’s known for his streetscapes; the pottery of Diane Lee and Patch Wilkinson and woodwork by Hans Johnson and Cliff Hill; Larry Boyd’s photography and the work of Pat Carlson, who uses fabric to paint her pictures. In addition to the IBX artists, Emerald Isle watercolorist Georgia Mason has been added to Lemonade’s artist roster.
“We have been so gratified by the desire of so many people to have us open back up — to create something like working studios with a gallery,” Lamoreaux said. “People have really been so kind and supportive.”
In January, the closure of the artisans’ center, with its thousands of square feet of gallery space and working studios, was a devastating blow to the center’s artists who worked and taught classes there. But this group of former IBXers, made the most of the situation and got a name out of the deal.
“’Life really gave us some lemons here — so we’re making lemonade.’ I kind of jokingly said it, but it resonated with everybody,” Lamoreaux said.
The gallery’s new business cards now read, “Lemons happen. Make lemonade.”
The five women behind Lemonade are looking to set a trend in downtown Washington.
“We’re hoping that there will be lots of small galleries around town and that it will become an art destination,” Schneider said.
Lemonade will officially open on Monday, with Beck, Bradley, Lamoreaux, Mann and Schneider each taking a turn at sales during the week. The gallery’s grand opening event will coincide with the March 27 Art Walk, in which downtown galleries launch exhibits and host receptions for the general public.
For more information about Lemonade Art Gallery, hours and classes, call 252-495-3141 or visit The Lemonade Art Gallery’s Facebook page.