by Andy Lyons, Editor-in-Chief
After a cold open for June’s First Fidays Art Walk, The Artist Gallery Collective in Warrensburg will celebrate its grand opening at 5 p.m. Saturday, July 1 with a silent auction, wine tasting, hor d’oeuvres, and music from Michael Lamont.
The silent auction is set to feature pieces donated from the Warrensburg Arts Collective as well as local artists, many of which are Warrensburg-themed. The Gallery also features about 75 pieces from 20 artists. Co-owner Jay Linhardt said there is a variety of pieces, ranging from photographs to paintings, all donated for the silent auction, which will help cover the start-up costs of The Gallery.
There are also plans to expand The Gallery’s offerings in the next month.
“The retail side of things gets rolling next month, we’ll be selling art supplies and musical accessories,” Linhardt said. “Also, we’ll be doing some audio recordings in the space as well. Record a song and walk out the door with it kind of thing. As far as the actual grand opening, our walls are almost full of art, and we’ll have a collection of pieces for one night only as part of our silent auction.”
The Gallery will also have two artists-in-residence, one of whom has been working on The Gallery floor for patrons to see. The Gallery has become a major stopping point for events in downtown Warrensburg, and has some daily traffic already.
“We have a lot of people stopping in curious to see what’s going on here, and a group of regulars who come to socialize and see what’s new that day,” Linhardt said. “We’ve stayed open quite a few nights just working on projects and there is a steady flow, which is why we are considering night hours.”
The Gallery Artist Cooperative also marks how business relationships downtown are evolving, with Linhardt and co-owner Annie Steinbrunn working with a multitude of businesses each month to host the Warrensburg First Fridays Art Walks. The cooperation of local businesses and Warrensburg Main Street make it all possible.
“Main Street in particular has been supportive since day one, they were very enthusiastic to see an art gallery fill this space,” Linhardt said. “There’s just a sense from all the downtown businesses that they want to see more unique retail spaces like this, and they’ve all been really behind our initiatives such as First Fridays.”
The Gallery Artist Cooperative, 111 N. Holden St. in Warrensburg, kicks off its grand opening at 5 p.m. July 1 with a silent auction from 5 to 8 p.m. The event is free to the public and black tie optional. The Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, follow it on Facebook here. A Facebook event for the grand opening can be seen here.