Hastings has a new source for art and art education downtown.
Great Rivers Art Gallery opened recently at 301 E. Second St., across from the post office downtown. Owners Al and Dorothy Most opened Great Rivers with the goal of it becoming much more than just a place where people come to view and purchase art.
The gallery has the capacity to display work from 60 to 70 artists. The Mosts' idea is to have the artists who rent space in the gallery teach art classes to interested members of the community in a studio space at the back of the gallery. The artists/teachers would set their own schedules and fees.
The classes will be open to people of all ages, and some may be geared more toward certain age groups. The Mosts hope the gallery becomes a center for the arts community in Hastings.
The gallery isn't yet at full capacity, but there are already works from artists in several mediums, including stained glass, painting, photography, glass, jewelry, and bronze. It's hoped the classes will get going in the fall or late summer and reflect the wide range of mediums on display.
There's a room off the main gallery the Mosts are calling the Mississippi Room. It's a multi-purpose room that could be used for larger art shows, music or theater performances, dance classes or displays of the work the various art classes are doing. The space is also available for rent for private events.
As an added convenience to customers, Great Rivers will have a professional framing shop in-house, so when people are purchasing art, they can take care of the frame right in the store. There will also be an interior decorator in the store once a week to give people advice.
The Mosts are planning on holding live art demonstrations during the upcoming Cruise-Ins downtown. They also want to start having outdoor art shows on the weekends, but don't know yet when those will start.
There are 16 private studios in the building that are available for rent. There's a back entrance and locks on all the doors so artists will be able to come and go at any hour they choose.
Great Rivers Art Gallery is still looking for artists to rent space. The store isn't run on a consignment basis, instead artists rent space and get to keep all the profits from the art they sell.
The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.