Diners at Theo's in Rogers can now enjoy fine art -- and even purchase a painting to take home with their leftovers after a space in the eatery was transformed into The Gallery.
"The event space was used for private events and was dark and a little dated, so I worked with Theo's Rogers to breathe new life into the space.," says Jason Miller, executive director of the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra and owner of Miller's Imaginarium. "New paint and lighting can make a huge difference, but I also took Todd Martin's (owner of Theo's) love for art and desire to support local artists [into consideration]. It all fell into place. It's the perfect backdrop for future concerts, lectures and other private events.
Miller also reached out to local artist Angie Gomez to help renovate the space.
"I immediately connected with Angie when I met her at a show and had already admired her work. I knew that she was well connected in the artist community, and we shared a vision of what this new space could encompass. She has been a delight to work with and very talented in her own right," Miller adds.
"This space wasn't being utilized to its fullest extent. It had darker walls that had all been painted black, and it was not a welcoming space," Gomez says. "That's when [Miller] brought me on board and asked me to help with the curation and bringing the artists in and getting a steady stream of new art."
The gallery held a grand opening on June 16 to show off the updated space with an aptly named show, "Beginnings."
"Each each time we change the show, it's going to have a new theme. This particular group is all artists who are very contemporary, but each of them has a very different approach to the way they put their compositions together," says Gomez. "So we have an artist that's fully digital (Aaron Bleidt), and we have an artist who is more emotional and creates more highly abstract pieces (Josh Spendlove) and David Gomez -- his style can be described in a lot of different ways. It's a little bit of graffiti style mixed with more of like a graphic design style."
She adds that she's partial to David Gomez because he's her husband.
"I think that when you have all three of these styles from these three artists put into a space, they do complement each other. And I had noticed a lot of them tend to be drawn toward some of the same colors over and over. So when I brought them together and looked at their work as a collection, it really made sense. I thought it would be a special group to start off with," Gomez adds.
"Our first goal is to just expose the work of the artists by having the ability to draw people in here ... by inviting them in either while they wait or after they're done dining. I think that that'll give a fresh set of eyes that maybe wouldn't have gone to an art gallery that evening. They're already here. They may come enjoy the art as well. And that's what we hope happens."