Though it has been quietly open since April, the Ed Mell Gallery made its presence more official with an inaugural public reception on November 7.
The modestly sized building in the heart of Phoenix’s Coronado Historic District is intimate without being claustrophobic; in fact, it manages to maintain the feel of a broad, open space despite its lack of an abundant floor plan. Gallery director Ken Richardson says that being “a small building in the heart of a small neighborhood” was part of the inspiration of letting the word about the gallery spread organically, paying respect to the neighborhood where Mell has had a studio just down the street for several years.
Richardson tells us the opening was attended by a variety of people, from curious neighbors and collectors to gallery directors and museum staff from different venues around town. Guests were treated to a selection of new paintings by Mell that feature his unique take on the desert landscape, some highlighting his more realistic approach that is powerful with a subtle softness throughout, others with a more abstract lean, showcasing reality through a sharper, edgier definition. No matter the style, Mell’s ability to contrast light in these pieces is so thoughtful, it easily brings emotion into the mix. Some of the artist’s precise bronze sculptures are also part of the exhibition.
Richardson says Mell’s choice to open a namesake gallery was in part an issue of timing, but it was something he had considered for years. “Though he is still represented by prominent galleries in other states, the Overland Gallery in Scottsdale – where Mell exhibited since 2000 – closed its doors, and there wasn’t an area gallery that we felt was as good of a fit. It made sense to move in this direction,” he says.
Mell is continuously working, creating pieces for exhibitions and commissions as well as artwork he donates to benefit charitable organizations through auctions and special events. In the next couple of weeks, the gallery will be releasing a new lithograph titled “November Cloud,” a 30” x 23” edition of 200. Visit the gallery’s website for more information about “November Cloud” and upcoming exhibitions and events.
If you go:
Ed Mell Gallery
2337 N. 10th St., Phoenix
Regular gallery hours are by appointment only.
Please contact gallery director Ken Richardson at 602-359-7333.
Get your daily dose of culture with our curated picks of the best events and experiences in the Valley, from art and music to sports and the outdoors. Culture vultures can sign up for our Things to Do and VIP List newsletters for even more hip happenings.