Four Walls Can’t Contain Tremont’s Newest Gallery
Most people think of an art gallery as a room or building for the display or sale of works of art. Not artist Emily Metzger. In her eyes, an art gallery isn’t defined—or confined—by rooms or buildings.
Metzger, a Tremont resident, had the vision to bring art outside to make it more approachable. She is the brains behind the nonprofit RestorARTive, which features custom outdoor gallery boxes to display the work of aspiring artists in five locations along Professor Avenue in Tremont.
Metzger said she sees the art boxes as a gallery that’s open 24/7. “There are no set hours. It’s a way to bring more people outdoors and into the community that makes art accessible to anyone. For artists, it’s a way to increase the visibility of their work and a first step toward a traditional gallery experience.”
That visibility has been invaluable for some of the artists who have had work displayed. The gallery boxes were installed last September and already artists have sold several pieces. A QR code on each box takes viewers to a description of the artist and their contact information. Artists keep 100 percent of the proceeds of any sale.
The idea for RestorARTive and the outdoor gallery came from the Phone Gallery—a re-purposed payphone booth that displays art—in the Waterloo Arts District. A photographer by trade and co-owner of the commercial photography studio Mock Tuna, Metzger had one of her conceptual photographs displayed in the Phone Gallery. Looking for an opportunity to connect with the creative community on the other side of the camera, she wanted to expand on the concept of the Phone Gallery. With a busy photo studio to run, that proved difficult.
Fueled by passion, positive feedback and the down time brought on by the pandemic, Metzger finally had the free time needed to plan everything out, including collaborating with fabricators Shred & Co. to create the custom art boxes and the locations to put them. After opening the outdoor gallery in September, the goal is to bring in new art every two months to coincide with Walkabout Tremont, which takes place on the second Friday of each month.
To date, she has displayed the art of students from Cleveland Institute of Art and Kent State University, the Museum of Creative Human Art, and an 86-year-old artist who had never before shown his work in public. Metzger’s ultimate goal is to give younger artists a platform. In September, she’ll be showcasing aspiring youth artists from Fostering Hope.
“This gallery is for everyone, even for those who might not see art as an opportunity. The idea is to inspire the artist and the viewer regardless of background, age, skill or financial means. If one aspiring artist sees art as an opportunity, I’ll view RestorARTive as a success,” said Metzger.
Learn more, find the location of the art boxes, and make a donation at restorartive.org.
Walkabout Tremont—Second Friday of Each Month. Kaiser Gallery presents Jamie M. Richey as its 2023 Solo Show Selection recipient with her exhibit opening June 9. Richey presents a unique blending of photography and mixed media/collage. Opening August 11 at Kaiser Gallery is the group exhibition Nowstalgia, which is everything and anything—combining retro-indulgent fantasy with today’s instant consumerism lifestyle. Also, check out art at Doubting Thomas, 818 Studios, Paul Duda Gallery and more. Visit WalkaboutTremont.com for more information.
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