Before you write it off as another run-of-the-mill art gallery, come inside and take a peek at how the new Markay Gallery is taking functional art to a whole new level.
When passion meets inspiration, the result can be magic. That’s exactly what happened when Amber Markay Byrd decided to bring a new twist to the idea of the modern art gallery. The product of her epiphany is her new Markay Gallery, a labor of love that blends the expected paintings, sculptures and photography with the unexpected vessels, lighting, furnishings and accessories all made by talented and dedicated artists. Every bit of the gallery resonates with the wonder and beauty of true art and expression.
We got a chance to sit down with Amber to find out more about her passion for art and what made her create such a new and creative space. (We promise, you’ll love her just as much as we do!)
LBDLRW: Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get involved in the art world?
AMB: Following your passion never feels like work. That’s the best thing about opening Markay Gallery. Encouragement and support from family to always pursue what makes my heart smile is how this all began.
I received a gift that changed my life—a camera from my parents on my 13th birthday. [It was] a FILM camera mind you. At that singular moment upon taking my very first photograph, my eyes were opened to the world around me. [To] the details. [To] the little things. I was no longer “just me” I was “me with my camera.” From then on, the world of art was everywhere I looked.
After moving to Georgia 10 years ago, I have focused my career on helping artists achieve their goals. From working at an art gallery to starting my own business connecting artists to galleries and helping them craft their brand and messaging, I have been surrounded by talented artists who never cease to inspire me.
It’s been an incredible journey to open Markay Gallery and to have the opportunity to work with such creative talents. It’s amazing what a person can do when their heart and their hands work as one. This is being an artist.
LBDLRW: Why did you decide to open Markay Gallery?
AMB: Visualizing art in your home can be difficult, so we wanted to create a home-like setting where you can sit at a dining table and see a piece of art hanging right there in our gallery as if you were at home. Our twist is that even the dining table is designed and made by an artist. There isn’t a gallery like this in our area. We want to be a destination for art lovers and interior designers, for anyone who appreciates art and unique pieces for their home.
After six months of looking for the right retail space, 26 Winters Street became available and it was perfect. It’s a versatile space that allows for both gallery space and event rental for special occasions.
LBDLRW: What are your hopes for your gallery?
AMB: Our mission is to bring art of all forms to the mainstream. Having art you can use every day is something pretty special. Not everyone can say that their coffee table, chair or lamp has a story like an original painting does, but now they can. Sculptural form is something important to us when we bring in functional art pieces to the gallery. The concrete stool (shown on the right) by Zach Mickleboro is a great example. The sculptural design elements and contrasting textures is art.
On the first Friday of each month and as part of the Marietta Square Art Walk, the gallery holds an art show with a different theme and a new rotation of artwork for visitors to enjoy while they sip rosé wine. Coming up on May 5th, you can check out the show entitled “Rose,” where a bouquet of artists celebrate the beauty of May.
SOURCE |Markay Gallery, located at 26 Winters Street, Marietta, GA 30060. (404) 401-1806. For more information on special exhibits or event space rentals, visit MarkayGallery.com.