Disney characters, abstract masterpieces and superheroes embellish the dark, gray walls of Ingen Art Gallery & Studio on East Main Street. The paintings covering the walls display the work of a variety of artists.
Courtney Davis, co-owner and head artist, said before the studio opened, she had just graduated from WKU with a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication and a minor in folk studies.
“I had been searching for a job with no luck and began painting again out of boredom,” she said.
Davis said after posting a few of her art pieces on Facebook and receiving positive reinforcement, she and her boyfriend, Chris Beckley, developed the idea of opening a gallery.
To guarantee their artwork would be seen, Davis and Beckley chose to open their gallery downtown on the square. Upon purchasing the property, the two had to renovate.
“Our location needed some work. So, before opening, we completed a full renovation of our new space, including lights, new flooring and new paint,” Davis said.
The final step was contacting artists and creative professionals from across the region to fill the newly-renovated walls.
Art lovers have a selection of artwork to browse through or purchase while visiting the gallery. The gallery also has custom vinyl toys and pop culture fan art, adding to the modern theme of the gallery.
Artist Charleen Brinson said she’s always thought that the artwork housed at Ingen has an alternative flare.
“There isn’t really one particular genre of art that I could use to summarize Ingen’s collection,” Brinson said. “I’ve seen lowbrow, non-objective, folk, macabre, horror and many other styles displayed on the gallery walls and loved every one of them.”
The studio also sells custom canvases and Montana Paint Products, making them the second city in the state to sell these products. The studio strives to artistically give back to the community and offers mural painting and commission artwork services.
The studio also offers creative entertainment programs to help get the community more acquainted with the visual arts. Traditional art classes can be scheduled in two-hour increments for $35 a person. Individuals and small classes can elect to take a personalized class on drawing, chalk and oil pastel, watercolor or acrylic painting.
“I feel that showcasing the talent and creativity of our local art community is the main goal at Ingen,” Brinson said. “Courtney sought out artwork that didn’t fall under the traditional style of works that are exhibited throughout the galleries downtown, therefore, giving other contemporary artists — and myself — a gallery that we could call home.”
The studio has become a place for professional and growing artists, such as Brinson and Davis, to share their passion for art and enjoy artwork from fellow artists.
“To me, art means being human,” Davis said. “There has never been a period in human history where people have not sought to create and adorn the world around them with their imagination and representation of reality.”