Local man starts art gallery and invests in the Westside
A hub for imagination and creativity is coming to the Westside.
NRG Gallery, 3105 W. Broad St., promises to be artist friendly and offers art programs for children who are Autistic and developmentally disabled.
The gallery opens Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. It is owned by father-daughter team, Nicholas and Scarlett Gonzalez.
“We’re just blown away and so excited. This is a dream come true, this is exactly what we needed,” said Mari Ann Binder Futty, president of the Westgate Neighborhood Association.
Futty said she is glad to see artists investing in the area.
The gallery staff plans to showcase paintings, photography, sculptures and hand crafts. Classes designed toward Autistic children are an innovation proposed to Nicholas by instructor Aaron Grover, who formerly taught at the Haugland Learning Center.
The Haugland Learning Center is an organization that works with children with Autism, Asperger syndrome and other disabilities throughout Ohio. Grover graduated from The Ohio State University and has experience teaching with all levels of Autism.
These classes will be offered at NRG Gallery or in-home.
Nicholas began as an artist shortly after his wife died of breast cancer in 2004. At the time he had a 12-year-old daughter and was retired from a career in insurance.
One night while watching a special on “Dateline,” Nicholas watched as an art critic judged three paintings. When one was singled out as excellent, the critic was invited to meet the artist, who turned out to be a small girl. Nicholas was inspired.
Nicholas purchased an art kit for $12 and developed his skills. Exhibitions of his work were showcased at galleries in the Short North, but he was disappointed with the steep commission fees he encountered.
Thinking of fellow artists and a promise made to his late wife to make sure their daughter was financially secure, he set his sights on NRG Gallery. Nicholas offers modest commission rates and non-exclusive contracts for artists.
Nicholas is pursuing a license to operate as the Westgate Cultural Art Center. This will allow the space to be used for plays, poetry jams, installations and magic shows. NRG Gallery has staff to develop portrait and mural projects for the community.
NRG Gallery will be open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For information on services and upcoming exhibitions visit www.nrggalleryllc.com.