On an otherwise bleak day, there was a bright spot on Tuesday as Greenfield officially hosted a downtown art gallery with the grand opening and grand opening of The Art Rookery at 340 Jefferson St.
Nancy Crawford, a recently retired college art teacher from North Columbus, and with her husband, Scott, now reside in Greenfield. Art is what she loves, and so when she retires, she wants to continue bringing that love to the public.
Crawford was joined for Tuesday’s ribbon cutting by friends and family, as well as Greenfield City manager Todd Wilkin and Susan Howland, who is with the village. Jamie Wheeler, executive director of the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, was also part of the event; and Avery Elliott, administrative assistant at the Highland County Chamber of Commerce.
The gallery features works created by Crawford, but it’s also a place where Crawford invites other artists to show their work, creating a kind of art cooperative. Currently, the shop is full of things like paintings, woodworking, woven items, quilts, and pottery. The artists who have contributed so far in addition to Crawford are his sister, Carol Culbertson, who is a potter; Sister Barbara Richey, who does weaving; Elaine Balsley, who is a painter and will teach; and Roy Shields, who is a carpenter. The gallery will also offer classes, painting parties, private lessons, and in the future, studio space for rent in the building for people to create their own art.
During the opening ceremony, Crawford spoke about the hard work that went into preparing the space for the opening and how amazing it was to have the support of the community.
“I want this to be a community resource,” Crawford said of the gallery, and something that adds to the culture of the downtown area and the community.
The boutique is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Details on parties and painting classes will be coming soon, so watch the webpage for information and updates on theartrookery.com.
The first class offer, according to the website, is Friday, September 24 for preschoolers and parents / grandparents. Go to the “courses” tab on the website for more information. The Art Rookery can be contacted by emailing [email protected] and calling 937-403-7110.
“We are pleased that The Art Rookery is establishing a new adventure here in downtown Greenfield,” said Wilkin. “This is one of the many businesses that will be starting up downtown over the next few months. We appreciate the risk of opening a new business, and hope that other entrepreneurs in and around the community will be willing to take the same risk and be a part of downtown Greenfield and its revitalization.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the village of Greenfield.
Nancy Crawford of The Art Rookery cuts the ribbon at Tuesday’s event. She is surrounded by friends and family as well as Greenfield Town Manager Todd Wilkin (left in background), Susan Howland with Greenfield (second from right) and Highland Executive Director Jamie Wheeler County Chamber of Commerce (right of Crawford).