Bowling Green kicks off first Gallery Hop of the year

Theresa Christmas, owner of Art Matters, smiles and greets guests at her venue for the March 18 Gallery Hop. Christmas has been involved with the Bowling Green Gallery Hop ever since she opened her business five years ago. Art Matters is located in downtown Bowling Green and offers art classes for children. Abbey Tanner/HERALD

Abbey Tanner

The Bowling Green Gallery Hop hosted its first Hop of the year this past Friday. The March 18 Hop included 15 local venues, including new additions Griffin Gallery, The A-Frame and the Downing Museum.

The Gallery Hop began in 2008 with three venues and has grown since its conception. The Hop is a way for local artists to display and sell their work and happens five times per year.

The Hop is a self-paced event without a starting or stopping point. Individuals are encouraged to visit venues at their own pace, and with five total Hop events during the year, there are plenty of opportunities to experience each venue.

2016 venues include Spencer’s Coffee, Candle Makers on the Square, The Presbyterian Church, Art Matters, the A-Frame, the Kentucky Museum, CG Photography and the Downing Museum.

Courtney Davis, the president of the Bowling Green Gallery Hop, said there is something for everyone at the Hop. Davis is also a local artist and owner of Ingen Art Gallery and Studio.

Davis said the turnout every year is about 200 people, but attendance is widely affected by the weather since most people walk from each venue.

“There is always room for growth,” Davis said. “We’ve been able to help a lot of artists by giving them opportunities to promote their work through the Gallery Hop. That’s the biggest growth I’ve seen.”

Davis said there is a large variety of creative work, including paintings, sculptures, jewelry and more, on display at each venue.

Brittney Black, Bowling Green native, has been the manager of Candle Makers on the Square for one year. The business is located in the heart of Bowling Green.

Despite being known primarily for its candles, Candle Makers on the Square also houses merchandise such as prints, paintings, pottery and other items.

“I love it,” Black said, referring the the Hop. “I think that it showcases the talent that’s in the town.”

Black said the Gallery Hop brings people into Candle Makers on the Square who normally wouldn’t come in, and those people usually return. Black also echoed sentiments shared by Davis regarding the overall success of the Gallery Hop and its reliance on good weather.

Black said since most people walk to each venue during the Hop, the weather factors heavily into the event’s turnout.

“Our summer one is big because of the weather,” Black said.

Theresa Christmas, owner of Art Matters, said she has participated in the Gallery Hop every year since she opened her business and that the Hop has been a huge hit.

Christmas uses her art gallery and studio to teach art to as many as 60 children per day.

“I feel like, with what I do, I somewhat have an effect with the kids who can grow up and own their own galleries,” Christmas said.

Nashville native Jamie Derossett, owner of Painted Lady Silver, said the Gallery Hop has been a new opportunity for her. Since she doesn’t have her own store, the Hop allowed her to display her work at Art Matters.

Derossett has been creating jewelry for her business for the past year and a half.

“Not having a storefront is the only way I can get my stuff out, and that’s a big bonus. People can actually try my stuff on,” Derossett said.

Davis said the Bowling Green Gallery Hop is always trying to promote local artists, but the events themselves bring this goal to life.

The remaining dates of other Gallery Hops are June 3, Aug. 5, Oct. 14 and Dec. 2.