Laura and Daniel Roode have brought a new sense of style, art and design to Columbia by way of their new venture "Gallery 205," housed in an 1870 Victorian brick home on West 6th Street.
With backgrounds in publishing, Laura is the art director of the gallery, while Daniel is an illustrator and artist who creates large-scale montage paintings. The focus of the gallery's art is primarily contemporary illustration and design, and currently features four artists, including one local textile artist.
At the well-attended opening and reception of Gallery 205 last Friday evening, October 21, Daniel said, "Opening a gallery has long been a dream of Laura's. This is really her baby."
As such, we were able to conduct a Q & A with Laura to learn more about both her and Gallery 205.
Although you grew up in Memphis, you recently moved from NYC to Columbia. What did you do there?
Daniel and I both have roots in children's publishing. I'm an art director/graphic designer still working remotely for a publisher in New York, and he is a freelance illustrator and also a fine artist.
How long have you lived here? Why did you choose Columbia? We moved here in April, so we're still fairly new in town! We were living in Nashville for about a year, and heard of a nearby town a short drive away with an emerging arts scene. The prospect of getting in on somewhat of a ground floor of a new artsy town was so appealing to us. After a few visits and being wowed by the historic charm, we were hooked.
Tell me about the history of the house in which the gallery is located. We love this old house (named the Fleming House) and how its Victorian stylings juxtapose with the contemporary art we show. We don't know everything about it, but we do know that it was built in the 1870s as a gift to one of the Looney-Jackson children. So it's a companion-house to the Looney-Jackson House next door, which was built in the 1840s. We heard that at one time Andrew Johnson may have lived here while he had a stint as a tailor in Columbia.
What made you decide to open an art gallery? Is the name based on the address? You guessed it, the name is based on our address, 205 W 6th St!
We have been toying with this idea for a while. A lot of it is about plugging into our community; we both work from home and crave a little bit of connection with artists and art lovers. We also have a pretty specific artistic vision to share, so choosing artists and curating shows is second-nature and something we're really enjoying.
What kind of art do you feature? Is it one specific genre? Gallery 205 has a focus on contemporary illustration and design. This obviously has to do with our publishing point of view and the types of art we are most familiar with. I love the idea of supporting today's artists and moving the conversation forward.
Are the artists local? How often will you rotate artists? The overall perspective is global, but when we find someone local whose art is a good fit for the gallery, we'll relish the opportunity to show their work!
Our very first show includes a fabulous artist from Columbia named Jennifer Kasdorf who does amazing woven wall hangings, and I'm sure there will be more Columbians represented as we get to know our local artists better.
We'll have art shows every 2 months, and already have the first year of shows planned!
What's the general price range of artwork you sell? The price ranges so far have been $500 and under, and we plan to keep it in that general range for the foreseeable future. Most of the pieces are works on paper, and we are selling both prints and originals. There will also be things like pottery and jewelry in the future. We'd like to keep the art really accessible to the average buyer. You don't need to be a serious collector to come in and find something; these pieces can be a great gift or a treat for your own walls.
Any goals or future plans? The primary goal at this point is to get off the ground, and to have good turnouts and sales for all of our planned shows. Who knows what the future holds; we may be able to consider expansion at some point.
Above: Laura's parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Reddick, drove from Memphis for the opening.
Do you have a Website link? Hours of operation?
You can find us at gallery205art.com.
For the time being, we will be open for the gallery shows and by appointment, plus through the online store.
What do you like about Columbia?
There is so much. We love the potential for a thriving arts scene, the lovely historical architecture, and the close proximity to natural green spaces and the capital city. There's also a really strong sense of community here, which we are already seeing and feeling. We love it here!
And we are so glad you are here. Welcome to Columbia!
Below are photos from the Opening of Gallery 205. Click to enlarge.