VIEW GALLERY recently had the honor to be featured in the Clarion Ledger, below is the artical written by Nell Luter Floyd. Photograph by Joe Ellis Photography.
"The gallery moved in July from The Township in Ridgeland to 1491 Canton Mart Square, Suite 7. It is located between the Book Rack, a longtime business in Canton Mart Square, and Drake’s Designs Florist & Gifts.
A black awning sports the name VIEW GALLERY and oversized black-and-white prints of horses by Alabama photographer Arden Ward Upton hang in the two front windows, inviting a closer look.
The gallery features works by about 20 artists, mostly Southern artists. Many are regional, and there are also several local artists in the mix.
Whit Geary of Madison, gallery owner, said she considered a location at Canton Mart Square when she established the gallery in April 2009 but the Township location won out because it was more practical at the time.
“This wasn’t the right place for when I opened the gallery,” she said. “I had four children in Madison schools, and I needed to be close to where they were. My last child is now a junior in high school, and this is the right spot.”
Geary decided a move to Canton Mart Square would invigorate the business, help attract new clients who might not drive to Ridgeland and make it more accessible to Jackson residents. Another plus, she said, is that the location is next to Drake’s Designs, which is owned by her oldest friend, Anne Turner Williams, and Williams’ husband, Mike.
A graduate of the University of Mississippi who obtained a degree in elementary education and taught school for five years before her children were born, Geary entered the art market through the world of interior design. She has no formal interior design education but is blessed with an innate sense of color, she said.
With a toddler on one hip and a baby on the other, Geary launched her interior design business in 1993. “I charged a small amount to help friends pick out paint colors and arrange furniture,” she said.
Looking back, Geary said she found a sense of peace — “it always made me rest inside” — when a space was put together in a visual way that worked. Adding artwork, she discovered, made a space sing.
Geary eventually joined SummerHouse in Ridgeland as a designer and representative of several artists. She opened VIEW GALLERY within sight of SummerHouse and still considers owner and principal designer Lisa Palmer a good friend.
“The bulk of my business is people who love their houses and want beautiful houses,” Geary said. “Some clients don’t know much about art but just want something pretty and want it to look right and feel good in their homes. Art is such a communication of one’s personality and an extension of who you are.”
Many of Geary’s clients are drawn to the abstract designs and color palette of Sophia, an artist who uses just her first name and signs it with Greek letters, while others like the impressionistic works of Emily Ozier of Germantown, Tennessee, who signs her work in all caps as EMYO.
Lee Malouf of Ridgeland also has a following for her pastel abstracts as does Cissy Primos Prewitt of Madison for her mixed media works, Geary said.
The gallery includes works by emerging artists that sell for “several hundred dollars” as well as works by artists with established careers that sell for “several thousand dollars,” she said.
Geary said her journey to becoming a gallery owner slowly unfolded, and she’s pleased with the new location, the artists she represents and the business she has built. “I wasn’t looking for any of this,” she said.
VIEW GALLERY is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment. For more information, call (601) 487-6477 or (601) 278-3991.
Geary said she plans to expand the gallery’s hours when Crazy Cat Bakers opens just across the parking lot in Canton Mart Square."