Dayton artist Christy Jennewein has seen the ups and downs, ebb and flow of the visual art scene in downtown Dayton with artist cooperatives on W. Third Street and St. Clair. She was the director of the Cannery Art & Design Center for several years until it moved to St. Clair and became the Connecting Art & Design Community. The latter was a cooperative for 20 area artists, and closed in June of 2014.
But artists are a (mostly) optimistic lot, and Jennewein’s hoping for an uptick in the economy. She has opened her own gallery on still another street — Patterson Road.
It’s south of downtown and aptly named the Patterson Road Art Gallery. She’s showing her own abstract paintings and embellished furniture with a few consignment artists thrown into the mix, like Trish McKinney and Rosie Huart.
The house is zoned for business, with several rooms and an outside patio where she presents an eclectic array of mixed-dish birdhouses and unique outdoor decor. She does commission work; an embellished dresser with Gustav Klimt overtones was just sold for $1,000. The gallery is a cozy, intimate setting that shows off her furniture and several unique works: a chess table that swivels, a large scale Roger Sayre painting, and upcycled handbags.
“Part of the fun for me is finding old things and redoing them. I’ll start with a pattern or put 10 different designs of paper together, and then I’ll just play off of that,” said Jennewein. “For commissioned pieces, I’ll look at photos of a home and try to coordinate the piece in a not-too, exact-match way.”
Jennewein visits thrift stores to find sturdy furniture worthy of her geometric wallpaper/painted designs. She also offers classes for those interested in embellishing furniture of their own. Classes meet four times for 3-hour sessions, and leave with a finished piece of unique art. She also leads collage/abstract art classes that cost $40 per session with packaged supplies.
The continuity of Jennewein’s artistic endeavors is in the form of her ever-present furry companion Cooper, an Irish Setter/Dachshund mix.
“People haven’t really figured out that I’m here just yet; they have busy lives,” said Jennewein. “We’ve had a lot of rain, but when the sun shines I’ll be outside working so people can see that this is a new business.”
Contact contributing writer Pamela Dillon at firstname.lastname@example.org.