Grand Hand Gallery is an art gallery off Grand Avenue showcasing American art and craft. Read our Q&A with owners Mary Whitney and Cathy Weyerhaeuser below to learn more about this local business!
When and why did you decide to open a gallery?
Cathy: Mary and I had talked in our 30s about owning a store together but Mary moved out of town for years. When the opportunity arrived to buy the Grand Hand Gallery, we jumped at the chance.
Mary: Cathy and I opened the gallery in October of 2018. We heard about the owner of the Grand Hand considering selling or closing because Cathy had the inside scoop as an artist in the gallery already. Cathy called me up about our old dream, and we came up with pros and cons around owning a business. When the biggest negative was our age, that sealed the deal for us. We weren’t ready to be too old for anything.
What makes Grand Hand Gallery unique?
Cathy: What is so wonderful about the Grand Hand Gallery is the artists and their artwork. A day doesn’t go by without an artist dropping off something new and interesting.
Mary: The Grand Hand Gallery is unique in that it redefines what a “gift” is. We have followed the gallery’s history by featuring wall art and fine craft by artists and makers, primarily local. A gift becomes something that resonates with the giver for the recipient. It can be as traditional as a scarf or as unpredictable as a clay colander. A mug can be matched with locally foraged tea, or a wood cutting board with a textile cloth. By purchasing these items, you support artists, make our neighborhood a functioning space of support and interaction, and make a statement of the beauty we want in our lives.
What types of artists and artwork do you feature?
Cathy: I like to represent local artists as we can work more closely with them. Having said that, we are always searching for unique and underrepresented talent; the gallery has handmade art and craft from all across the United States.
Mary: If it is art, artful, craft, handmade, beautifully designed or practically executed, useful or necessary to put beauty in our lives, we like it. My favorite artists are the kind that I’d like as a neighbor or friend.
What is your vision for the future of the gallery?
Cathy: I would love to continue to help bring artists’ work to the market in a thriving, vibrant space.
Mary: My vision remains the same: to provide a space to showcase artists and makers and their crafts. I believe that communities need a space to step inside beauty, to fill their eyes and souls, and be inspired. I love when people come in to browse as much as when they buy, because they are leaving their energy and appreciation here, enriching the space. COVID-19 robbed us of gatherings, openings, the random poetry reading or concert we loved hosting. I wait impatiently for their return.
What items do you recommend as we enter the season of gift giving?
Cathy: Something hand-crafted or a piece of art is more thoughtful and meaningful than something mass-produced. Every time you interact with something unique, you associate it with the gift giver.
Mary: I love matching people to fun things in the gallery for a gift. A spiritual friend will love our hand-bound Zen rocks. A foodie will like our foraged teas. The cooks in my life will cherish a hand-thrown mixing bowl with a wooden spoon. My favorite shoppers are lovers picking out jewelry and couples choosing a new piece of wall art to gift each other. Our gifts are not trends; they are timeless.
How can co-op members support Grand Hand Gallery?
Cathy: I would love it if co-op members who haven’t been in the gallery would take a moment and stop by. We consistently get amazed first-timers in the store. The gallery is truly a gem.
Mary: Grab healthy food from the co-op and pick up a unique gift from the gallery. In doing so, you’re supporting farmers, artists and makers while creating the neighborhoods we want to live in and see thrive.
Our Community Partners are small, independent local businesses that have been hit especially hard by the effects of COVID-19. Join us in solidarity and show your love for our community by continuing to eat, drink and shop locally. Co-op member-owners get 10% off any purchase at the Grand Hand Gallery!