Written by Blake Blackmon
Images by King Gallery
The corner of Howard Avenue across from Jordan High School is quickly becoming a special and unique place. Plant Magic Market starts the row off full of whimsical treasures with a soon-to-be tea shop next door and at the very end sits a gallery unlike any other in town: King Gallery. Contemporary artist Cora King opened King Gallery’s doors in 2022 to serve as her personal art studio as well as a community gallery supporting other independent artists. Cora’s bold expressionistic paintings line the walls as well as remnants from recent shows featuring bold folk art by Jarrod Turner and intricate collages by Julie Umberger.
King Gallery owner Cora King, as photographed by Morgan Duke.
As soon as you enter the space there is a calming sense. It feels both welcoming and safe, and on Tuesdays there is the presence of a special art group. Local artist and beloved art teacher Rose Ogle founded this group years ago and it has had different locations from The Wynn House to Highland Galerie, but no matter the location the core focus of the group remains constant: anyone can be an artist.
In honor of Rose’s memory and mission, from 10:00am - 3:00pm every Tuesday King Gallery opens its doors for anyone in the community to come into the space to just make art and continue the ritual. Cora thought it was important to breathe life into the gallery and was glad to be able to offer her space to keep their tradition alive. “What better way to express our love for Rose, other than to continue this group?” said April Norris, one of the class supervisors.
'Apple Basket' by the late Rose Maree Ogle. Source
This is the perfect place to learn new techniques from artists and teachers, work on an existing project in a group setting or start on something new and unknown. The set-up is entirely flexible and low pressure. Artist’s bring their own materials and can choose to engage with others as much or as little as they want. The gallery also provides some materials. “It's good to have a lot of people that are working on different things and that are more proficient in certain things, because you can get inspired and also seek their advice,” said April.
'Warm Divide' by Cora King. Source
While there are certain regulars that have been doing this long before it started at King Gallery, people of all ages are welcome to drop in as well. In the summer the gallery saw more children and college students taking advantage of their breaks and still has many pop in as the year continues. High School students even take advantage of the opportunity to work on senior project hours. It’s a great way for anyone at any level in the community to try something new in a supportive, inspiring space without the pressure to commit.
If You Go:
When: Every Tuesday from 10:00am-3:00pm (drop in and leave whenever)
Location: 3211 Howard Ave, Columbus, GA 31904