Chez Moi Gallery

| October 11, 2012

Artist, Mike Nusser lives by a simple philosophy: Art should be messy. The founder of Chez Moi art gallery on Winkler Avenue has long believed in getting down and dirty with his craft, claiming, “Everything I own has some kind of paint on it.”

Nusser’s unique perspective on art is reflected in his gallery space, especially the floor of Chez Moi, which is filled with every sort of color splashed and dotted throughout it.

At the end of August, Nusser celebrated the one-year anniversary of his “artists’ community,” Chez Moi, which provides 15 private, affordable studios – starting at 120 square feet – to support the creation of new and significant work by every type of virtuoso, whether a photographer, watercolorist or even a spray painter. The company also strives to afford life management and professional development training in an effort to create a network of thriving and sustainable artists.

Chez Moi takes its name, French for “my home,” quite literally. Studio occupants are accommodated in the best way possible to ensure their time and space is advantageous to their personal craft. Artists are also guaranteed at least one feature show per year and a continuous showcase of some of his or her artwork at all times inside the gallery.

Furthermore, Chez Moi unites the artist and art lover, in hopes of fostering a sense of awareness for the gifted people who bring  diversity and brilliance to the local art scene. Chez Moi hosts events, dinners, workshops, seminars, classes, tastings, monthly gallery openings and performances to promote their artisans to the community.

No form of art is off-limits inside the gallery. In fact, to honor the one-year anniversary of Chez Moi, Nusser booked several musical artists for performances, championing their individual talents as well. Acts included the uniquely exceptional Il Troubadore, who sang a German translation of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles.

Following the celebration, Chez Moi began September with group art classes, open to all ranges of skill and knowledge. With a small  background in art myself, I decided to check out the first official art class, “Wet Palette Wednesday,” hosted by Nusser in the evening from 8 to 10 p.m. It had been awhile since I’d tried my hand in sketching, and even more time since I’d attempted using charcoal, but Wednesday was a chance to try something new with an open mind, while learning from Nusser and the fellow attendees.

The experience was an interesting reintroduction to drawing – a nude sketch class, in which the group stood behind easels, creating a portrait of a girl who posed in various stances. I’d never participated in an art class with a nude model before, but with a little wine – offered as part of the experience – I was ready to tackle the challenge. The class began with a brief 20-minute sketch of the model’s first pose to warm up our drawing hands. After time was up, each of us walked around the room to observe what others had done, discerning areas for improvement. Nusser also circled the room, observing and critiquing the drawings in order to help us improve for the next round of sketches.

Following the first sketch, the class attempted a 30-minute sketch of a sitting pose, and finally a 40-minute drawing of the model laying across a mat. By the final sketch, I and my classmates had become much more comfortable with the setting and the use of charcoal, which managed to turn my entire right hand black from my inexperience with the utensil. But, like Nusser said, art should be messy!

Despite my need for a thorough hand-cleaning afterward, the art class was an excellent change of pace from my typical outing to a bar or casual hangout with friends. I’m far from an accomplished painter or sketcher, but with Chez Moi’s vibrant, embracing community, I felt no shame in my abilities and was encouraged by my improvement with each sketch. Regardless of my future as an artist, Chez Moi was a way to, most importantly, show support to the local artist community. And with galleries as welcoming as this one, the beauty and artistry of Louisville will surely continue to grow in the future.

For more information on Chez Moi art gallery, a class schedule or the possibility of renting your own artist space, visit www.chezmoigallery.com or search “Chez Moi” on Facebook.

Location:
317 Winkler Ave.

Gallery Exhibit Hours
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Private tours available.

Class Schedule
Tuesday
– Metal cutting and welding workshop with Glenn Herre; call for appointment.
– Self-defense class with Robert Price; call for appointment.
Wednesday
– “Wet Palette Wednesday.” Adult group lessons with Mike Nusser; 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
– Metal cutting and welding workshop with Glenn Herre; call for appointment.
– Self-defense class with Robert Price; call for appointment.
Thursday
– “Spirituality and Emotional Healing through Art” with Mark James; 7 p.m. to TBD.
– Metal cutting and welding workshop with Glenn Herre; call for appointment.
– Self-defense class with Robert Price; call for appointment.
Friday
– Children (ages 6-12) group classes with Mike Nusser; noon to 3 p.m. and/or 6 to 8 p.m.
– Self-defense class with Robert Price; call for appointment.

Cost
$5-$15.

Class Schedule
Times vary Tuesday through Friday.

Contact writer Ashley Anderson at aanderson@voice-tribune.com.

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Category: Out & About

About the Author (Author Profile)

Ashley Anderson

Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).

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