PS: Gallery is relocating to East Walnut Street

Below is a great article from Vox Magazine.

Rob Bratney

Permanent artist and Curator Joel Sager considers lighting options with Jennifer Perlow, executive curator of PS: Gallery, at their new space on East Walnut. After nearly five years, the gallery is moving from its location on Broadway.

By Samantha Highfill

December 9, 2010 | 12:00 a.m. CST

The brick building sits on the corner of Orr and East Walnut streets. The windows are covered with paper. Inside are construction workers, rough edges and the smell of sawdust. The space is nothing but unfinished wooden floors and unpainted walls. But by Feb. 26, the outside of the building will read “Perlow-Stevens Gallery.” And with that, this brick building at 1025 E. Walnut St. will become an integral part of Columbia’s art community.

PS: Gallery opened at its current location on Broadway in July 2006. Its creation was the work of Co-owner and Executive Curator Jennifer Perlow and Co-owner and Curator Chris Stevens, simply because they loved art. Since then, Perlow and Stevens have become central figures in Columbia’s art community. Working on the board of the Museum of Art and Archaeology, helping to start Artrageous Fridays and working on the board of C.A.R.E., a city program for at-risk youth, Perlow makes sure to give back to the community.

Showing at PS: Gallery

Fanciful teapots, sculptures and jewelry are sprinkled around the gallery as oil paintings and fiber work enrich the walls. The alcove space in the back of the gallery features vibrant red, yellow and green landscapes that capture different moments.

These pieces create PS: Gallery’s “Autumn 2010 Exhibit” and Jane Chukas’ display. The exhibit, on display until Dec. 30, features work from six different artists: Mary Ann Clark, Lorri Acott-Fowler, J Brett Grill, Nora Othic, Joel Sager and Jo Stealey.

“We have oil paintings and mixed media collage,” permanent artist and Curator Joel Sager says. “We have a fiber artist, a pastel artist, jewelry, and we have the ceramicist (Mary Ann Clark) who makes little beautiful, whimsical tea pots. We also have a sculpture artist out of Colorado.”

The second exhibit lives in the alcove space and consists of nine pieces by Jane Chukas, an artist from Galena, Ill. Landscapes decorate the alcove’s opposing walls and displayed Chukas paintings include acrylic on canvas, acrylic on paper and oil pastel on paper. Although Chukas began her career in music, she has carried over her former art to be portrayed more visually.
–Samantha Highfill

“I really believe that if you’re going to live in a space, you have to be a contributing member,” Perlow says. “You can’t just be a spectator. So it was always our intention to try to really be involved in the community.”

The move came suddenly when the gallery’s current building was sold, but with only a little more than two months before the grand opening of the new location, Perlow stands in the empty space on Walnut Street, surrounded by the harmonies of construction, with a smile on her face.\

The white walls of PS: Gallery serve as a home to art, artists and the community. By hosting community-based events, such as “Art for Autism” and a Columbia Second Chance fundraiser, the gallery has become more than a pretty building filled with beautiful masterpieces. However, art awareness has always been the gallery’s No. 1 goal. “Some people are intimidated by art,” Stevens says. “We don’t want that. We are trying to break down those

As a contemporary art exhibit, PS: Gallery hosts only the work of living artists whether local, regional or national. With art ranging from $100 to $5,000, the gallery has four exhibits a year, each one hosting multiple artists for a period of three months. The only theme that the gallery consistently displays is quality, Perlow says.

Whether it’s sculptures, paintings or jewelry, there are no specific guidelines or rules about what kind of artwork can be displayed in the gallery. Come February, with the community behind it, PS: Gallery will take that unpredictable diversity to the arts district.

“They’ve done a tremendous amount to raise awareness of visual arts in the community,” says Jo Stealey, professor of art and head of the fiber program at MU. “PS has really served as an energizer for everyone.”

The Broadway location will have one final show from Jan. 11 to Feb. 7, and then all of the owners’ hard work leads up to Feb. 26. The brick building on Walnut Street might look barren now, but it’s visually complete in Perlow’s mind, from the rustic pine trim down to the shade of white that will adorn the walls.


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