Artspace gallery director works hard in the arts

Submitted Photo “Sanity” Mixed Media Sculpture.

Artspace Suite 1 Gallery first opened its doors in 2017 on Nov. 24. Those who were a part of the gallery were thrilled to be sharing their art with the community.

Wendy Kimble is a local woman who has worked hard in the arts and has been the director of the gallery since the very first meeting to discuss the gallery for Artspace in Minot.

“A fellow artist friend, Amanda Francis, contacted me and was like “Hey, there’s a meeting about a potential Cooperative Gallery at Artspace. You should go.” Needless to say, I was thrilled with the concept coming to Minot and jumped at the opportunity to get involved,” said Kimble.

After months of meetings, she was asked to be head of the gallery and accepted. As director, she is in charge of the overall functionality of the gallery from doing the marketing part required for the gallery, such as promotion and scheduling, to brainstorming and working with the executive board and Gallery members to promote Artspace Suite 1 Gallery to the community.

One of the biggest things she works to promote is the gallery’s mission statement: “Our mission is to create great art for the community and a great community for artists.”

Kimble has loved art and has a passion for all things creative. Her first introduction to art was a day when she was sick at the age of four. Her mother got her a special treat, a set of Snoopy colored pencils, along with her medicine and Popsicles. For her, those color pencils were the most amazing tool she had ever seen and from that moment, she wanted to be an artist.

Through her many years of art, she has received two degrees from Minot State University. One a bachelor of arts with a major in graphic design, printmaking, and drawing with a concentration in scultpure and then a bachelor of fine arts in integrated media with a minor in art history. With these degrees and her many skills, her artwork ranges from photography to sculpture to integrated design.

“My passion is for all things creative. No matter where you go or what you do, it can be linked to the arts, whether it’s culinary, architecture, music, theater, literature, graphics, fashion, or visual arts, the arts are all around us,” Kimble said.

Her first involvement with the arts in Minot was in 1997 where she began teaching anyone from 9 months old to adults at the Taube Museum of Art and in the Minot Public Schools through their Meet The Artist Be The Artist and Gallery on Wheels programs. She has been on the board and was gallery manager for a short time while there.

In 2011 she was introduced to the Minot Fashion Week, which held its last event in July 2017. She loved being a part of it since it was people who were not only creative people sharing their passions but also were giving back to the community.

May 2017 she launched the Creative Night Out First Thursday events that would run the first Thursday of each month from May to September, featuring local creative people with talents in visual arts, music, storytelling, and much more.

“My goal was to not only share all the talented creatives that Minot offers, but to share with the community the amazing downtown and local businesses,” Kimble said.

She is currently working with secular people and businesses to prepare for this summer’s upcoming events.

Alongside all of her art involvement, she found time to do some adjunct teaching at Minot State University. She taught Visual Arts classes such as Intro to Studio Arts and Traditional Arts.

According to Kimble, Artspace Suite 1 Gallery offers a large variety of different types of art. The gallery has over 30 members and each artist brings their own unique art. They offer a special exhibition each month that allows members to create new artworks, they offer solo shows for featured artist members, and they also create exhibitions to drive community awareness.

All of this exhibitions showcase anything from ceramics, sculpture, and paintings to photography, jewelry, handmade baskets, and charcoal work to so much more.

Artspace Suite 1 Gallery is typically open Wednesday through Friday from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. They have an active Facebook account where those interested can get times of events and exhibitions, see photos of art created by the artists, and much more as Kimble and others at Artspace Suite 1 Gallery work to update the page to feature each artist member and their work.