Downtown Farmington has a new collaborative, arts-focused space, with the opening of KickstART Gallery at 33304 Grand River.
Three organizations occupy the long, narrow building: arts-focused nonprofit KickstART Farmington, Thistle Rose Academy of Arts (also a nonprofit), and Woodshed Agency, a consulting firm owned by Farmington resident Jeff Wenzel.
KickstART Farmington Executive Director Dwayne Hayes said in addition to art on the walls, a gift shop showcases the works of a dozen artists. The gallery has mounted its first exhibition, with Eastside artist Eana Agopian. Her work will be on display through December 7, and she’ll talk about the collection during a November 15, 6 p.m., opening reception.
Hayes said the gallery has seating for 30-40 people. Future events may include readings, arts-related meetups, classes, and workshops.
Celebrate all artists
Thistle Rose artistic director Rachael Rose said her group plans to offer acting, vocal, improv, and other classes and workshops open to the public. In addition to high quality performances, the organization includes teaching in its mission.
”We really need to celebrate all artists, no matter what their skill level. All ships rise with the tide,” she said. “We already have a robust arts culture. This is really a central place for all artists.”
During Holly Days in December, Thistle Rose the gallery will serve as a warming station and home base for singers caroling at downtown businesses. And on December 11 and 18 and January 8 and 15, a series of classical lunches will feature local classical musicians.
Looking for feedback
Ultimately, Hayes said, the gallery is a “small version of what we would like to see on a larger scale, a collaboration of arts-related groups and artists in a larger space.”
“What we’re interested in is how the community would like to integrate the arts into this space. We’d love to get feedback about how people would like to see the space used,” he added.
Gallery hours are Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday. The gift shop will also be open during special events.
A meeting for anyone interested in volunteering is planned at 6 p.m. on November 18. The gallery will also be open during Downtown Farmington’s Ladies Night Out, 5-9 p.m. on November 14.