The community is invited to the grand opening celebration of The Karen Wray Art Gallery, 5-7 p.m. Thursday at 1247 Central Ave., Suite D-2.
The event includes refreshments, live music by local musician Richard Hannemann and an opportunity to meet artists and friends in this lovely new gallery!
Since opening its doors in December 2016, the one comment most frequently uttered by visitors to the new Karen Wray Gallery is, “I don’t remember this space being here before! What was here previously?” The truth is that the space was originally two unconnected spaces, one a windowless storage room, and the other a rather dark, oddly partitioned former computer gaming room with a maze of spaces and counters, unoccupied for years. It was hard to envision how this could be transformed into a spacious, light-filled art gallery!
Using Excel as a substitute for a space-planning tool, owner Karen Wray measured and modeled the space, and arranged and rearranged the disparate spaces until a plan came together. Working with contractor Simon and Devon Bergauer of Dojo Builders, architects Steven Shaw and Laura Tietgen, electrician Patrick Connolley, Los Alamos County and many others, the gallery took shape. On the very first day of occupancy, Rader Awning installed the new awning sign. Wray then declared that The Karen Wray Gallery was now open.
Wray, an experienced artist, instructor, and previous gallery owner has invited back several artists from her earlier gallery and accepted numerous new local artists into the new gallery. The new gallery is focused primarily on locally inspired art and photography to showcase Los Alamos and the gorgeous surroundings, flora, fauna, historic past and colorful characters. The gallery hosts regular solo exhibitions, in addition to group exhibitions throughout the year. For those interested in learning the fundamentals of painting, art classes are offered later this year through the gallery.
Shannon C’ de Baca, a retired educator and big supporter of the arts, has been passionate about revitalizing downtown Los Alamos, filling once unoccupied or under-utilized buildings with small, local businesses that attract shoppers and tourists. The first floor building now houses, in addition to The Shannon Corporation office and a dental office, the Los Alamos Daily Post world headquarters, Atomic City Quilts and Warm Heart’s Yarn, David’s Old Fashioned Barber Shop, Boomerang Consignment Shop and now The Karen Wray Gallery. The second floor houses Professional Skin Care Services, Lavish Salon, Christina Claude, DOM-LMT (East Gate Acupuncture & Massage), Meridian Johnson and Jeraldine Mark (Cranio-Sacral Therapy), Jamie Silverman, LISW, and Gregory Earthell, RPP-LMT (dba Sunrise Therapeutics). C’ de Baca and her office have transformed the old Motor Pool Building into a bustling retail and services area within easy walking distance from the Bradbury Science Museum.