Friday, February 14, 2014

Locals Liese and Kris Chavez to open their own gallery

Posted By on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 12:15 PM

click to enlarge One of Liese's current works, "Percy and Baldrick." - COURTESY LIESE CHAVEZ
  • Courtesy Liese Chavez
  • One of Liese's current works, "Percy and Baldrick."
Husband-and-wife artists Kris and Liese Chavez announced today they are opening their own gallery on Colorado Avenue. Chavez Gallery will debut on April 4 with activities throughout the day and music that evening, which will coincide with the Old Colorado City First Friday Artwalk. They plan to craft their opening day celebrations as an “introduction to the gallery” with interactive and performance art. (Disclosure: The couple are friends of mine.)

The space is located at 2616 W. Colorado Ave., #10, in the stucco structure that houses Jake & Telly’s Greek Taverna. That space will house both Liese's and Kris’ work, covering paintings, prints, jewelry and drawings. Both artists’ oeuvres contain whimsical subjects, with elements of humor that can sometimes run dark; and distinct narratives, either by way of fairytales, sayings or storylines the artists developed themselves. (For more on Kris' work, click here.)

Liese, who has won the Indy’s Best Artist category three years in a row, says the gallery is a dream come true, but only one that started to seem like a possibility last year. Since then, the couple has been scouting locations. They found what they were looking for in this three-room space that was last a boutique. The Chavezes are now renovating it, making it “a little fancier” for their tastes, and building a workspace for Kris to make jewelry on-site. Liese will also work in the space, doing demonstrations as she’s done publicly for several years now.
click to enlarge Some of Kris' most recent jewelry work (which includes angry cupcakes, whales and tiny robots.) - COURTESY KRIS CHAVEZ
  • Courtesy Kris Chavez
  • Some of Kris' most recent jewelry work (which includes angry cupcakes, whales and tiny robots.)

The feel of the gallery, Liese hopes, will be one that’s welcoming but also imaginative. Besides wanting visitors to really develop a connection with the art — facilitated by the Chavezes, who enjoy chatting with customers — they “really like to break down the barriers between people and the arts ... Really let their imaginations take them away.”

“I want it to be a very memorable experience,” Liese says. “I’d like people to come back weekly to see what’s new.”

Each month they’ll have new work and jewelry to display, but they’ll also unveil interactive art pieces each week. “It’s going to be a constantly updated thing. We enjoy coming up with new ideas.”

For now, the gallery will host just their work, but in the future Liese says they may branch out to host other artists who share their narrative genre.

click to enlarge Liese painting at her home studio. - COURTESY LIESE CHAVEZ
  • Courtesy Liese Chavez
  • Liese painting at her home studio.
Chavez Gallery is one of a few new galleries opening in OCC. They’ll be moving in next to Visual Culture, which opened last July, and most recently, down the road from Colorado Creative Co-Op located at 2513 ½ W. Colorado Ave., which opened its doors for the first time this week. Current co-op members include Coral Cornish of Full Spectrum Art Glass Supply, Maxine Grossman, Bill Korst and others (it’s also accepting new members, if interested, email colocrcoopsubmissions@gmail.com). Meanwhile, 45 Degree – Art From Every Angle gallery located at 2528 B W. Colorado Ave. celebrated its fourth birthday yesterday. All of this seems to point to a modicum of success for galleries along the corridor.

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