The Town of Marion is thrilled to welcome its newest business, Art of 16 Contemporary Gallery. Located at 324 S. Commerce Street, Art on 16 is a professional gallery with two attached artist studios.
The gallery will showcase a different artist each month, some local and some from the larger world. Each exhibit will be on display for a month, and the gallery hopes to host an opening reception for each artist on the first Saturday of each month.
“I had been living in Utah for 15 years, and my sister had been keeping our Dad in Atlanta for six. I decided to retire early and help her out with Dad, as his care was getting more and more demanding. My sister had always wanted to move to Appalachia, where Dad’s roots are, and fell in love with Marion. She asked me to the visit the town and to see whether or not I could live here. I landed here on Artwalk night, and wandered into the Appalachian Spirit Gallery. The warmth and support that I felt just amazed me. Yes! I could live here, and paint here too,” said owner, Bepe Kafka.
“Dad had always wanted me to open a gallery. When he passed, I thought about what I could do to invest locally. I didn’t have enough money to create a lot of jobs, but I am an artist, and it has been shown time and again that when the ‘creative class’ gather in town, the economy improves. It seems that quality of place attracts the people who can create jobs,” added Kafka.
“The Town is thriving,” said Ken Heath, Director of Community and Economic Development. “And we couldn’t be happier to have Bepe and Art on 16 join our community.”
Art on 16 held their first reception on Saturday, March 3rd, which showcased quilter Sylvia Richardson. The event was well attended.
The gallery’s next exhibit will feature painter, Nancy Jacey. The reception will be held on Saturday, April 7th at 7 pm. Jacey’s large scale Prismacolor pencil, acrylic and oil painting have been exhibited extensively throughout Florida, Georgia, and Virginian. “Her technique allows her to realistically capture the world with all its detail in a vivid, colorful style and bring it to life,” Kafka explained.
Art on 16 will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. “But, if you see our cars and want to drop in, please ring the bell and we will be delighted to have you visit!,” Kafka exclaimed.
Art on 16 Contemporary Gallery
324 S. Commerce Street
Marion, VA 24354