Gallery 610, located between The Raw Deal and The Duke & Dagger, is a brand-new art gallery opened up for the purpose of expanding the connections between fellow artists and showcasing the art of aspiring artists in the community and surrounding areas. The gallery was originally rented out by two University of Wisconsin—Stout alumni who used it as a graphic design studio. “When they left it, there was an opportunity to rent the space,” Jared LeClaire, one of the co-owners of Gallery 610, said, “and they already had the track lighting in place along with the white walls, so it already had this gallery feel to it.” In Menomonie’s history, there has been many other galleries that have come and gone over the years and Jared, along with Emily Gordon and Ed Erdman who are the other co-owners of the space, decided it would be a good way to not only bring a new gallery to the community for local artists, but also to take their next steps in their respective fields.
Erdman is a graduate of UW-Stout with a degree in studio art with a concentration on painting. Gordon and LeClaire are also Stout alumni. Gordon will graduate this fall with a degree in studio art with a concentration in ceramics and Jared will graduate this spring with a degree in studio art with a concentration in sculpture. All three of them wanted to broaden their connections to the art community and found that there was no better way than to get artists to come to them. LeClaire believes that one of the most important factors that lead to success for those pursuing the studio art major is making connections with people. LeClaire said “…that’s where most of the business will come from. Being a practicing artist is finding who you know and spreading your net of connections as far as you can to get as many opportunities as you can. So, owning this allows us to connect with other artists, which is people who also invested in art, so we are really building a huge network for ourselves through this and for anyone who wants to join us.”
Gallery 610 is a neutral theme nonprofit gallery that is owned by artists for artists. The place is paid by the owners out of pocket and the artist gets 100% of the profit from the sale of any piece. Various artists have showcased their work in the gallery since its opening this summer including Richard Wehrs with his ceramic sculptures and Bennett Pearson, who is a Stout alumnus, that had his exhibit: I wanted to call it “Folding the Truth.”
They take interns so that others can get just as connected with other artists and learn new art styles. “…we invite artist to experiment with their own work and then people who haven’t been involved in group exhibitions on campus and can become an intern here and learn the skills off campus and apply that to real world experiences.” said Gordon.
Students, artists, and members of the public are strongly encouraged to visit. The Gallery is looking to fill some later exhibits and artists are encouraged to apply. Contact Gallery 610 on their Instagram @gallery.610 or on their Facebook page at gallery610menomonie.