BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - From ceiling to floor, the walls of the artists incorporated gallery are full of work from local artists.
Every medium is represented from oils and watercolors to drawings. The rest of the room features carvings, glass work, jewelry and more.
“We have a different kind of representation than other galleries. It’s a good way to get your art out there,” says M.J. Dobbins. She is a local artist, but also on the board.
In fact, the entire gallery is run by artists. It’s a co-op, featuring rotating works from 40 different artists.
They have to apply to participate, but once accepted, they are surrounded by support.
“We are a giving gallery. We are not here to make money, we are here to support artists in a way financially so they can do what they love to do,” says artist and board member Jerome Vason.
The gallery has been around for more than 20 years, but has only been at their location at the Shops of Grand River in Leeds location for the last few years.
They say it’s actually been a wonderful way to bring art to people who might not normally go searching for it.
“We have people who come through here all the time and it’s the children pulling their parents in by the hand. One time we had a little girl come in and she spent 45 minutes walking around and you could tell she was fascinated, and it really meant something to her,” says Dobbins. “She got her father and he came and they talked all around the gallery.”
It’s that kind of experience that they hope to see again. Like everyone else, coronavirus forced the gallery to close for several months. Starting in September they will be open again every Friday, Saturday and Sunday with social distancing measures in place. They hope people will come to escape the concerns over covornavirus.
“Art is an inspiration even when there is not a pandemic going on. We have people that come in sometimes and we know this is a break for them, it lifts their spirits, and of course we practice social distancing, but people are just blown away by something that attracts them,” says Vason. “It takes people to a place of peace in their mind a place of rest and joy, happy and good emotions.”
When the pandemic finally passes, they hope to return to hosting monthly receptions to showcase artists and classes for children and adults.
You can find more information on artists incorporated on their website.