Castle Gallery Fine Art is marking its 25th anniversary with a celebration tonight as part of its annual Valentine's Show.
The salon-style event will feature special guests that have been a part of the gallery's history. It's a way of honoring the work the gallery has done in the past quarter century.
When it opened in 1995, there weren't many galleries in Fort Wayne, owner Jody Hemphill Smith says.
“At that time, if you were an artist, there was no way that you could have your work out there except for a show a year maybe at the (Fort Wayne Museum of Art) or Artlink,” she says. “There wasn't an ongoing place where you could share your work with this community.”
Hemphill Smith, a former art professor, saw a need and decided to do something about it. Since then, the gallery has built a reputation and drawn shows from groups such as the National Oil and Acrylic Painters' Society and the Oil Painters of America.
Mark Paul Smith calls himself a cheerleader for his wife and the work she has done at the gallery. Not many galleries make it to 25 years, he points out.
“Galleries come and go because it's a tough business,” he says. “This girl has been slugging it out. She's got artists from all over the country.”
The free reception is from 6 to 9 tonight at the gallery, 1202 W. Wayne St. There will be cake, ice cream, treats and a cash bar. There will be live music from Mark Mason Meussling and other artists and musicians.
The Valentine's Show, which runs through Feb. 29, features the work of artists including CW Mundy, Joseph Orr, Katherine Galbraith and Chuck Marshall. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, or by appointment. More details can be found at CastleGallery.com.