GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO)--The sound of construction isn't something you'd expect to hear from inside an art gallery.
Then again, The Raw Canvas isn't your run of the mill art gallery. "(It’s) something very fresh, very different from Grand Junction," says gallery owner Justin Nordine. Nordine says he enjoyed his life as a school teacher but knew one day he would have to ask himself that single question. "Am I going to have any regrets when I'm 50 for not following exactly what I wanted to do and the answer was yes," he says.
A self taught tattoo artist, Nordine opened The Raw Canvas in 2008. Nordine says, "I really look at the body as a walking canvas and that's kinda where the name, The Raw Canvas, comes from."
From there Nordine, who is also a painter, expanded the store to display work from local artists. Now it's expanding again.
"One of the most fulfilling things as an artist is to see people get excited about your work," says editorial photographer Melissa Pruitt. For her it's not just about having wall space it's also about the gallery's feel. "More of a vibe here, urban, next generation," she says. It that sense that's hard to find anywhere else in the Valley. That’s why artist Wendy Gill is displaying her work here for the first time. "I'm really excited to finally have a place where I kinda fit in," she says. Showcasing 11 artists now, The Raw Canvas hopes to bring in five more in June, Artists just like Wendy Gill. Gill says, "Anybody that goes after their dream is doing a great thing but if you go after your dream and you take people with you, that's like amazing."
And to keep the ink flowing, The Raw Canvas lets loose with a special show every couple months hoping to make an indelible mark on the Grand Junction art scene. "We just have a party in celebration of art and music and have a good time," says Nordine.
The Raw Canvas’ next show is April 1st at the gallery location at 755 Rood Ave. in Grand Junction. The show is title Raw-Kabilly, and features live music, a car and motorcycle show as well as new artists. Click the link below to access the Raw Canvas website.
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