Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Gallery One's Beginnings

"Art galleries are all the same
- pricey & pretentious."

NOT! Clancy here. As notable public figures and official Gallery One greeters and "Patrons of the Arfs," Shayna (that's her smiling on the right) and I have made it our personal mission to dispel such misguided notions right here and now.
As you can imagine, we are often stopped by fans, wanting an autograph or a selfie with us. The conversation frequently turns to our meteoric rise to fame despite our humble beginnings (we are both rescues). But to know the real story, you first have to go back some 43 human years to 1974. It was a different time:
In those days, when the President flew away, the birds tweeted...

Gimme an AYY! Postage for a fan letter to Fonzie was just 10¢...

The highway speed limit was lowered to 55 mph in an effort to conserve the 53¢ per gallon gasoline...

Fashion-conscious men wore mutton-chop sideburns and double-knit polyester leisure suits. Really, because...

...That's The Way We Were (also the Song of the Year from the movie of the same name).
The times they were a-changin'...
Fashion, music, movies, morals, you name it. Status quo hit the skids. Authority was questioned. Revolutionary ideas were everywhere including Mentor, Ohio, where, far away from the glare of the national spotlight, a different kind of art gallery opened; one with a radical notion:

"Going to an Art Gallery should be FUN,
not intimidating."

Children were WELCOMED (gasp!) - a play area was set up to keep them happy while their parents browsed. Big people could help themselves to snacks and beverages. (Unthinkable - there could be SPILLS!)

Our folks, Norah Lynne and Alan Brown, started Gallery One in 1974 in a converted house. They are still at the helm (with my guidance).
Now we're in an 18,000 square-foot showroom with custom framing facilities housing 30,000 limited edition prints, original paintings, sculptures, books, collector plates, fine art posters and porcelain figurines by the world's top contemporary artists (and unbelievably, our prices start at $25!)

...Now (WOW!)

Speaking of our folks, here's a picture of them from that era, 'socking it to the 70s.'

(Not to worry, now that Shayna and I are here, WE help them pick out their clothes, and we've been known to steal socks if we don't like them) But I digress... back to my story.

In recognition of their leadership and innovations that have benefited both art collectors and art dealers alike, U.S. Art even honored our folks with their prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award!
Our folks succeeded in making Gallery One so enjoyable for visitors that art lovers have twice voted it "Best Art Gallery in the Cleveland Area." We are known for taking excellent care of our clients, old and new. Kids who first visited with their parents, years ago, now come in with their kids to see all the beautiful artwork (and Shayna and me, of course).
As you can see, we're about as pretentious as a basket of puppies. We simply want to be your favorite place to shop for art - in person, by phone or online in your p.j.'s.
A FUN art gallery with games for kids and wine for grown-ups! What next... payment plans? Yes, as a matter of fact, because

"Beautiful art should be accessible
and available for everyone."

My folks still offer FREE layaways for your art. Whether choosing art for yourself or for someone special, we can accommodate your budget with a plan designed exclusively for you.
We assist collectors, both private and corporate, with design and installation services.
(Leave the hanging to us, the experts - we'll even bring the nails.)

"Any Pat, Michael, or Jo-Ann with a hammer can frame art."

And any schmuck with a Swiss army knife can remove your gall bladder. But if you want to present and preserve a piece of art or a treasured memento in the BEST way possible, go to a Certified Picture Framer who excels in frame design and art conservation. We have THREE CPFs on staff. (And seriously, see a specialist about that gall bladder.)
Only a CPF has completed the necessary requirements to earn (and retain) this distinction requiring rigorous testing and exceptional skill. Frequent recertification is required because a CPF has to know how to frame anything, from Picassos to hockey pucks. Gallery One's Framing department has won TWO international framing awards because of its creativity and skill!

I know what you're thinking: 'That sounds expensive.' We double dog dare you to compare - framing at Gallery One actually costs less than at chain stores offering Fabric-ated discount coupons. We provide better value for your framing dollar because we only use the finest quality mat boards and moldings, AND we buy them in bulk to pass the savings on to you.

"People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing." - Dale Carnegie

Gallery One's dedicated staff includes members whose combined art gallery experience equals more than 180 years. (They won't leave, and even if they did, what would we inscribe on their watches... 'Thanks for another great century'?)

Our entire staff loves what we do. Art improves your quality of life, and we have fun making it available for those who love it as much as we do.

But why should we have all the fun? Why not invite the rest of the planet? So in 1997, galleryone.com was launched.
The first and most extensive website of its kind, we opened our virtual gallery to the world.
And today our website is loaded with testimonials about our unparalleled customer service from beginning decorators to serious art collectors, both locally and internationally.

Gallery One is the inviting kind of place where customers become old friends and artists are family. (You never know which celebrated artist you'll find curled up on the couch or stretched out on our floor.)
(Robert Bateman napping before a Gallery One appearance.)

What other gallery would encourage you to rub elbows with famous artists and noses with friendly dogs, all at the same time?

Over the years, Gallery One has celebrated many highlights including hosting the nation's first one-man show for legendary Canadian wildlife artist (and well-rested naturalist) Robert Bateman, drawing waiting crowds that lined the block for hours. A legion of the world's most notable contemporary artists have made regular appearances including famed astronaut/artist Alan Bean, Carl Brenders, James Christensen, Dean Morrissey, Jim Daly, Charley Harper, Edna Hibel, Thomas Kinkade, Bev Doolittle, Steve Lyman, Roger Tory Peterson, William Phillips and many others.

Gallery One also encourages future artists with its annual "Cold Nose - Warm Art™" Competition, displaying the artwork of hundreds of children alongside the work of established artists in a special month-long holiday exhibition.

(CNWA prize winners with Dean Morrissey)

In 2010, the Browns established their own art publishing company, Gallery Giclées™, printing fine art giclée canvases hand-signed by the artists, available from Gallery One and interior designers, art consultants and art galleries nationwide. The collection includes work by award-winning artists Carl Brenders, Jim Daly, Dean Morrissey, Alan Brown and more.

And speaking of our pop, Alan Brown's outstanding wildlife photography was even honored with a one-man exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for THREE months!

(Lioness with Cub © Alan Brown)

So now you know the whole story. If you haven't stopped in for a while, what are you waiting for? We're here Monday through Saturday, 10 until 6, or by appointment. We're wheel chair accessible, fun, family-friendly and have loads of free parking. Shayna and I are never too busy overseeing Gallery One operations that we can't stop for a belly rub or the proffered dog biscuit. We'll be waiting for you!
Your humble servants and Gallery One Patrons of the Arfs, Shayna & Clancy

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