Tucked inside a red-brick exterior, The Centerpiece Gallery is sleek and white, blessed with tons of natural light and a roomy, flexible floor plan that lets the art speak for itself. “We wanted our guests to be able to look at a single painting and focus on it, so they can connect with how it would look in their house,” says curator Katie Brown. The art changes once a month, just before First Friday; in July and August expect work from locals Kathleen Deep and Dawn Rozzo, among others.
The gallery opened in February on the Person Street corridor in the space formerly known as Nicole’s, when the previous owner, Nicole Kennedy, decided to paint full-time. It’s not just a facelift: the gallery’s focus is shifting towards contemporary art while continuing to offer custom framing and painting classes for a range of skill levels. “The workshops were so popular that we wanted to continue them,” says Brown. “Plus, they’re a great way to connect with our community.”
In July and August, look for one- and two-day workshops including “Creating Loose, Vibrant Creative Florals,” “Atmospheric Watercolors” and “Taming the Green Disease” (a class focused on getting just the right shade of green for landscapes). There are beginner and “beyond beginner” classes, too, for someone who’s just taking up the hobby or wants to return to it after time away. “Many of our students are plein air painters and have their own easels and paints, but we can give you everything you need if you’ve never picked up a paintbrush,” says Brown. Often, the gallery will display the work of an artist who is teaching a class while they’re there.
Brown is especially excited to be in this neighborhood, she says. “The community is so accepting and welcoming of the arts. We’ve had so many people pop in on morning walks or after brunch to say hello.” And the dropping in—whether you’re there to buy, browse, learn or just say hello—is what she loves most. “I’d always rather talk to people who are walking in than sit on my computer!” —Ayn-Monique Klahre
Visit thecenterpiece.com for hours and class schedules.