On an otherwise dreary day, there was a bright spot Tuesday as Greenfield officially welcomed an art gallery to the downtown with the ribbon-cutting and grand opening of The Art Rookery at 340 Jefferson St.
Nancy Crawford, a recently retired middle school art teacher from north of Columbus, and along with her husband, Scott, are now calling Greenfield home. Art is what she loves, and so in her retirement she wants to continue to bring that love to the public.
Crawford was joined for Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting by friends and family, as well as Greenfield City Manager Todd Wilkin and Susan Howland, who is with the village. Also a part of the event were Jamie Wheeler, executive director of the Highland County Chamber of Commerce; and Avery Elliott, administrative assistant with the Highland County Chamber of Commerce.
The gallery offers works created by Crawford, but it’s also a place Crawford invites other artists to show their work, creating sort of an art co-op. Currently, the shop is full of things like paintings, woodworking, woven items, quilting and pottery. The artists contributing so far in addition to Crawford are sister, Carol Culbertson, who is a potter; sister Barbara Richey, who does weaving; Elaine Balsley, who is a painter and will be teaching classes; and Roy Shields, who is a woodworker. The gallery will also be offering classes, painting parties, private lessons, and in the future studio space for rent within the building for people to create their own art.
During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Crawford talked about the hard work that has gone into getting the space ready for opening, and what an incredible thing it was to have the support of the community.
“I want it to be a community resource,” Crawford said of the gallery, and something that adds to the culture of downtown and the community.
The shop is open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to noon. Details about painting parties and classes will be forthcoming, so watch the webpage for information and updates at theartrookery.com.
The first class offering, according to the website, is Friday Sept. 24 for preschoolers and parents/grandparents. Go to the “courses” tab on the website for more information. The Art Rookery can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by calling 937-403-7110.
“We are happy to have The Art Rookery establishing a new adventure here in downtown Greenfield,” Wilkin said. “It’s one of several businesses that will be starting up in the coming months downtown. We appreciate the risk of opening a new business, and we are hoping that other entrepreneurs in and around the community will be willing to take the same risk and be a part of downtown Greenfield and its revitalization.”
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the village of Greenfield.