Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Chavez Gallery moves to larger, more accessible location

Posted By on Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 8:27 AM

click to enlarge "Catch of the Day" - KRIS CHAVEZ
  • Kris Chavez
  • "Catch of the Day"

After more than three years as a staple of the Old Colorado City arts scene, Chavez Gallery has earned what co-owner/founder/artist Liese Chavez calls their “natural next step.”

Previously tucked away from the main strip of Colorado Avenue, the couple has noticed a lack of foot traffic over the years, and has decided to re-open their gallery space right around the corner; somewhere larger, more accessible, and with more opportunities to experiment with their art — which is, of course, what they are best known for doing.

Awarded Best Artist (Liese Chavez) every year since 2011, plus Best Gallery and Best Place to Buy Art last year by Indy’s Best Of voters, Chavez Gallery’s appeal proves limitless. Not only does the artwork inspire playfulness and engagement, but the space is interactive, with an art vending machine, a mystery button and moving dioramas. They have built a community around exploring art, playing with art, and — above all — bringing art to people who may feel uncomfortable in a more traditional gallery setting.

With more square footage, plus super-high ceilings and beautiful archways at their disposal, the Chavezes have been thinking of ways to fill their gallery with new opportunities to engage. In addition to a huge shadowbox in the front window, they’re thinking of installing moving murals, an area with lasers and fog machines, plus occasional acrobatics and stilt-walking and whatever else their imaginations come up with.

When faced with ideas as big as these, the Chavezes have a unique ability to think outside the box (or the shadow box, if you will). And if they want to accomplish something, they figure out how to do it.

“We really have a lot of unique plans for the new space,” Liese says. “Some of them also require a lot of, not just art time, but some learning.”

Liese, for instance, has begun studying stop-motion and animation for her future mural, as Kris renovates their new space, putting in shelving and figuring out the best ways to display their work. In addition to the gallery’s favorite art installations, as well as merchandise and new artwork, the new space will contain a coffee and tea bar in the back. This will enable folks to grab a beverage and chat with the couple as they do their daily painting demonstrations.

According to Liese, some regulars are going to miss the “hidden jewel” aspect of the space, nestled as it was away from the street, but she says: “The new place is going to have the same feeling, but better for us. [It] is going to give us a chance to reach out to more people who maybe haven’t realized that art is for them yet.”

And, in true Chavez fashion, they’re celebrating in style. At Friday’s opening, enjoy live music by Harriett Landrum (My Name Is Harriett) and Vivian Gail, plus a living statue and tons of Chavez-brand surprises. It should be a good way to ring in a new era for this beloved local gallery.

Friday, Aug. 4, 5-9 p.m., Chavez Gallery, 25241/2 W. Colorado Ave., chavezartgallery.com.

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