Works from local artists hang on both sides of the gallery walls. Handmade jewelry crowds a glass case within eye-shot of the entrance. Intricately carved gourds are showcased on open shelving. The art can’t be contained to the lower level of the gallery, so some pieces also line the walls of a freshly refurbished second story apartment, where guests are welcome.
Noble Gallery opened at Nunnally’s Framing on Noble Street in downtown Anniston about a year ago. The business and the gallery work together, showcasing local artists in the store and at quarterly artists’ receptions held in the frame shop throughout the year.
“This is something that is popular with people from out of town,” said Ann Welch, owner of Nunnally’s Framing. “They’re able to take away a piece of our local flavor with them.”
New art is brought in at each reception and is displayed throughout the quarter. At the most recent reception, held Nov. 2, guest artist Fred Nall Hollis’ work was introduced into the gallery.
Hollis’ work at the gallery incorporates camellia prints framed neatly behind paint-splattered glass.
During the November reception, local gourd artist Peggy Mayo was on hand to demonstrate her craft. Mayo grows, dries, cuts, carves, etches and paints gourds. She also uses pine needles to weave intricate designs into cutouts on the dried gourds.
“Sometimes they just tell you what they want to be,” Mayo said. “It’s a lot of work, but it is fun.”
Mayo and most of the artists whose work is displayed at the gallery are part of East Alabama Artists Inc., an artists’ cooperative. The cooperative is made up of artists from across the county, some professionally trained and others self-taught.
The cooperative previously operated a downtown art gallery, Art Works, until last year, when it was closed because it became too expensive to operate. At about the same time, Welch stepped in and offered the artists space in her store to form Noble Gallery.
In the year since, the partnership has proven beneficial to both parties, Welch said.
“Since we had the space, we were glad to make the change,” Welch said. “We’re just very fortunate that this has worked out for the both of us.”
The art gallery and the framing business complement each other, artists and Welch said.
“There is traffic that wanders in every day, and now we have local art to show them,” Welch said.
The next reception is planned for Feb. 1 at 5 p.m. It will feature a guest artist and a demonstrating artist.
Star Staff Writer Laura Johnson: 256-235-3544. On Twitter @LJohnson_Star.
Inside Nunnally’s Framing, 1014 Noble St., Anniston, 256-237-5921