ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Ava Gallery, a ‘Breath of Life’
For as long as I’ve known Eric Vogen, he has been an avid lover of and collector of art. Local, regional, national…he seems to have a piece from everywhere! When I would visit his office, he’d walk me around, showing me a small portion of his collection on the wall and tell me all about the artist and the story behind each piece. He’d be almost giddy when he spoke, and the smile never left his face. That is how much he loves his collection and the world of art, in general. So, when he told me he was opening a fine art gallery on Main Street, I was certainly not surprised and more than a little excited!
Vogen shares his gallery space with TSG Real Estate, owned by Michael Orlando. The pair decided on the name of ‘Ava Gallery’ after Orlando’s daughter. ‘Ava’ means ‘Breath of Life,’ which is exactly the vision Vogen and Orlando have for the gallery in the Davidson community. Vogen envisions Ava as a place where people come in and experience “wonder, warmth and awe”; a place where you can be enveloped in beauty and feel as easy as you would in your own home; a surrounding that is “warm and gracious.” There’s no snooty atmosphere within the walls of Ava, just a relaxed environment where folks can enjoy a casual stroll through the gallery to admire the artwork and be comfortable enough to ask questions without feeling intimidated.
Vogen is a self-proclaimed story-seeker and believes that art unravels an adventure, mystery, and a story like nothing else. He prefers to choose his artists based not only on the beauty of the artwork, but on the story of the artists and their desire to reach into the Davidson community through education and outreach. Ava Gallery and their artists work together as a creative team, working towards a common goal.
As an art collector, it is also important to Vogen that the artwork represented by Ava has potential to appreciate over time. The purchase of fine art is a very personal experience on many levels but can also be a great financial investment, as well.
Vogen plans to open up the gallery for family nights, parties, business events, date nights, and artist circles. He envisions Ava Gallery expanding and growing with its represented artists in various stages of their careers. He even hopes to open a student gallery where up-and-coming artists are nurtured and given guidance by current, award-winning Ava artists.
“We don’t just want to put Davidson on the map for art,” says Vogen. “We want to create a family that celebrates the sacred wonder of originality through the medium of art.”
Come visit Ava Gallery at 108 S. Main Street on Fridays 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Saturdays 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. To learn more about the gallery and its featured artists, visit its website.
Kristen Feighery is a self-taught folk artist, originally from southeastern Kentucky. She spends her days painting anything not nailed down (and some things that are), chauffeuring one daughter to sporting events, having tea parties with the other, and writing a blog. She's also married to a rather large Irishman and has a pub in her house. Really.