Former 20 North Gallery space is home for joenstas galleryWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
When Stas Krukowski ended his career in selling cars after 13 years, his love of art was revitalized.
“Before, I would draw something every blue moon or write a poem every other blue moon, but it was so kept inside and so compartmentalized because of my career in the car business that I didn’t ever really let it come out,” Krukowski said. “Now that it’s coming out, it’s like a freight train coming out. I’ll stay up all night and write a book.”
Krukowski works with a variety of art forms: he likes to mix egg whites and food coloring, which he uses as paint on paper.
“I love primary colors. I’m sorry, at heart I’m still 5,” Krukowski said.
Some of his work will be displayed at his new gallery in the former 20 North Gallery space, 18 N. St. Clair St. Krukowski is opening the gallery with the help of some friends and family.
His life partner Joe Jordan’s name combines with his for the gallery’s name: the joenstas gallery.
Krukowski, born and raised in Toledo, has specific plans for the space. With it, he wishes to “beautify and educate,” a phrase he uses as a mantra.
“That’s what I decided I’m put on the planet to do,” Krukowski said. “I’m here to make the place look nice and tell you why it does and make sure you understand … I’m going to use that theme throughout pretty much everything that I do.”
The gallery will include one-of-a-kind pieces of art, clothing, jewelry, furniture, and more for sale. Krukowski has been collecting for years from antique shops and auctions. The pieces used to all be stored in his home but now fill the gallery’s basement.
“I want to be a source of inspiration for people,” Krukowski said. “Sure, I want to sell things, and that’s what I’m here to do first is represent artists and sell nicer, vintage items.”
Krukowski said he wants the space to serve as a hangout spot or a venue for events, like a graduation party, retirement party or wedding reception. Reservations are now being taken and there is still time to reserve the space for holiday events, Krukowski said. The gallery is able to hold 20-80 people, “100 if you want to push it,” Krukowski said.
The gallery will offer art classes, (maybe even a cooking class) for adults in the area. For kids, Krukowski plans to host an unplugged day, where kids can be dropped off at the gallery for four hours free of iPads, phones or other electronics. The children will have to read a book, look at art, cook something or listen to a record.
“There’s a variety of different things that we’re going to do that I’ve seen successful in other cities and I want to emulate that success here,” Krukowski said.
The gallery will participate in The Arts Commission’s Holiday Loop, the second annual shuttle bus service making stops at more than 30 venues on Nov. 16, but the grand opening is 1-5 p.m. Dec. 1. There will be Champagne and brunch offered during the opening.
“I want it to be after everyone else used you up after Thanksgiving weekend,” Krukowski said. “Come on in here, have a mimosa, have a little bite of something and then look at the art.”
For shows, Krukowski wants to fill the space with local, national and international artists. The gallery’s first show “The Mother and Child Theme Exhibit,” begins opening weekend; every piece of artwork will showcase motherhood in some way.
“I was just inspired by the strong bond between children and their mothers,” Krukowski said. “It’s one of the strongest bonds there is.”
Another idea Krukowski has for the space is an automotive show.
“That’s what I want to bring to the place; a unique sense of style that you might not find in a 100-mile radius,” Krukowski said.
Krukowski said he is not nervous to open in 20 North Gallery’s former space because he is not taking over for the former host.
“They built up such a great reputation for the space; I’m kind of riding on that a little bit, which I’m grateful for, but they’re still them. They’re still doing their thing. They’re not out of the picture, they’re just out of the building,” Krukowski said.
Contact Krukowski at (419) 265-7150 for more information.