The showcase facing the front door, complete with handmade curtains.
When Liese and Kris Chavez first announced
they were opening their own gallery in Old Colorado City
, they said they wanted visitors to be able to really connect with their artwork, and let their imaginations run wild.
That's all well and fine in the idea stage, but the Chavezes have truly made good on their promises. Their gallery, which opens formally on Friday
with a day of celebrations, is really fun
. (Disclosure: The couple are friends of mine.)
On a visit in late March, they showed me the space at 2616 W. Colorado Ave., #10, which they have fancied up with red walls and crown moulding, custom AC covers and a fold-out register station. Kris, who makes jewelry, has his own little work room in the back with a window you can peer in to watch.
Liese has a painting station in the main room, and a rolling cart where she serves hot tea in china cups. Nearby, there are cardboard cut-outs of hats and frills and fish from her paintings on sticks you can mug in the mirror with, and a buzzer you can push that on this particular day offered a handmade origami flower you can keep. (Future offerings will include magic tricks or "sage advice.")
There are items at any price point. Prints, postcards, pen and ink drawings and jewelry on the modest end, all the way up to large canvas originals that are listed in the thousands. The mood of the place suits both the drop-in visitor and the serious buyer, a consideration the couple was careful to convey: see the crystal vase of fresh flowers, a bench for sitting and contemplating the work and the block puzzles they made themselves that you can fuss with.
When it's time to go, you even get a surprise with your purchase. I got a fortune-telling fish, which told me with its cellophane body that I was in love.