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Alliance SBDC News

Open Space Art Gallery and Studios Celebrates Second Year in Business

In December 2020, Weygand celebrated the second year anniversary of her gallery during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to a high positivity rating, restaurants and non-essential stores closed for a second time. However, a mural on her western wall bears the motto, “Keep On Going.” Open Space Art Gallery in downtown Ottawa, Illinois served as a lighthouse for the Starved Rock arts community until the vaccines went to work.

Weygand cultivated a number of communities during the second wave. In the gallery, even when closed to the public, Open Space hosted a monthly gallery show for local talent. While on exhibit, Artist Lorena Malm needed to sell her works by a virtual art auction. The show for Keisha Acuff made use of the virtual auction format as well. When artist Ken Knight opened his one person show, the gallery held the opening with guests wearing face masks. Knight went on to sell more than thirty works of art through Open Space.

One might expect a gallerist to hold exhibitions for bankable artists when trying to survive bad market conditions. However, Weygand granted Knight his first gallery show. Recently, Open Space paired experienced artist Rebecca Ann Reed with a seventeen year old artist, Avery Lemon. The gallery recently posted an open call for artists for a show on a botanical theme. Artwork that can house a living plant will be given preference.

Throughout the pandemic, a faculty of six artists provided arts education to adults and children, even providing courses online. The team delivered art supplies curbside. Weygand launched a new art program for toddlers called Art Before Lunch. As soon as allowed, she began producing the popular Third Friday Art Sale and Art Walk around Ottawa. As soon as allowed, she began producing the popular Third Friday Artisan Market around Ottawa. The Third Friday event blends in whatever is happening in Ottawa, even cars shows and carnivals.

Weygand looks forward to the future in downtown Ottawa by mixing arts with city events. She has a small art gallery of affordable paintings ready for Ottawa Uncorked in early June 2021. With a partner from Toil & Thyme, their outdoor gallery in the wine garden will include macramé wine bottle carriers and wine glass charms. With a partner at Bee Humble Honey, the art leader envisions a twenty acre art retreat near Ottawa, with small art cabins and a sustainable practices farm.


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