Lemonade Art Gallery seeks diversity of design

Published 8:05 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2017

When five artists banded together to create a gallery, they knew what they wanted: diversity.

Two years later, the women behind Lemonade Art Gallery — Sue Beck, Jerry Bradley, Jan Lamoreaux, Carol Mann and Doris Schneider — have achieved it, with 17 artists represented in their West Main Street gallery and the addition of another studio artist in Lissa Pierson, an acrylics artist known as “McGowan.”

“You never know what’s going to appeal to somebody,” Beck said. “We’re trying not to duplicate and have competing artists.”

With two woodworkers, two potters, a few watercolorists, a poured-acrylics artist, one oil painter, a mask-maker and more, the gallery owners’ aim is to offer a broad array of art to appeal to a wide audience.

“We started with that concept, wanting to not have too much of any one thing,” Beck said. “We’re just trying to remain diversified and see what people want.”

The two new additions to the Lemonade fold are woodworkers — a contrast to a third new artist, a glassblower. Each is talented in his own right, according to Beck.

Hans Johnson is a Pamlico Plantation resident who spent many years gifting pieces to friends and family, in addition to making most of the furniture in his and his wife’s home. A friend and fellow artist encouraged him to submit his “beautiful and functional” work to a gallery, and since retiring, he’s dedicated three to four hours a day to creating, sawing, sanding and finishing his latest ideas, according to his bio.

“I’ve been in his house and in his shop, and his shop is absolutely to die for,” Beck laughed.

Oriental resident Cliff Hill is a self-taught woodworker whose creations start in the field, as he hunts wood downed by storms. According to his bio, spalted wood, or wood with coloration caused by fungi growing in the wood of dead trees, is a favorite medium, as part of his process is to “tell the story” of each piece of wood as he takes it from its natural state to a finished bowl, plate, hollow form or sculpture.

Beck said she sought out glass artist Minh Martin after seeing his work online. She followed that with a trip to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia to see it in person and returned to Lemonade with several of Martin’s wine glasses, champagne flutes and a vase, all handmade by the former Yale University geophysics student who found his passion in glassblowing.

“The blown glass is just amazing. He has dichroic built into, so it has absolutely amazing colors,” Beck said. “He’s a very gifted artist.”

Lemonade’s owners make a point of making art accessible to visitors as Beck, Bradley, Mann, Pierson and Schneider all have studios set up behind the gallery fronting West Main Street. Mann also teaches watercolor classes at the studio.

For more information about Lemonade Art Gallery and its artists, visit The Lemonade Art Gallery on Facebook, www.lemonadeartgallery.com or the store at 201 W. Main St. in Washington.