Gallerie Karon, for 16 years an enduring Ashland Railroad District showcase for mostly local art, has expanded by 600 square feet, creating a cozy, museum-like space where art is keyed by spotlights and period furniture, placing visitors in the time and place where it was created.
Located at A and Fourth streets, the gallery has a new “secret passage” leading from the 2,000-square-foot main space to The Feathered Wing gallery, as it’s called by owner Karen Wasser. Although the new gallery faces Noble Coffee on Fourth, visitors enter from the main store.
A grand opening is planned during Ashland’s First Friday Artwalk on Jan. 4 and will feature art set pieces out of England, Italy and the India-Thailand region. The latter art is hauntingly furnished with altars, Buddhas, screenings and statues of Kwan Yin, many of them authentic and going back a century or so.
“It’s a fantastic room,” says Wasser. “I want it to be dramatic and dark, with spotlights, setting the mood for First Friday.”
The main art piece is a stunning, hand-carved, gold-painted Thai Buddha from 1890. It’s going for $1,750. It’s flanked by a bowl for temple offerings, carved elephant that guarded “high class homes” in the 1850s, two Tibetan traveling altars, one with a Buddha inside, and a pair of corbels from East India with faces carved on them.
The English art alcove has Bruce Barnes paintings depicting Yorkshire, surrounded by wood-carved griffin, proper table cloth and a wood chair that’s seen some use through the decades.
In the Italian spot, visitors will see a perfectly carved small chest with table-top inlay and more Barnes art showing Venice. Wasser’s framed photos of Venice complete the ensemble. A general Euro group features watercolor by Englishman Charles Bell, period table and chair, with a pair of ceramic bulldogs and a Victorian “fire screen” that ladies set between themselves and a fireplace to preserve their complexions.
The gallery shows works by 32 local artists, including oils, watercolor, photography, jewelry (including antique), dolls and works in Native American and African art. It has “prices for everyone,” Wasser says.
For the Art Walk faithful, Karon still offers live music and its popular table of M&Ms, trail mix and spicy chips.
Reach Ashland freelance writer John Darling at firstname.lastname@example.org.