MONTE VISTA — Jennifer Graves will soon be opening JGA at 125 Adams St. in Monte Vista, and she couldn’t be more excited.
“I have thought about doing this for some time,” Graves said of the art studio. “I am a firm believer in the right time and right place though. This building became available, and it just seemed like the perfect place for me. There’s not a lot of places that feature art. Occasionally you will see some restaurants and other places around the valley with art for sale. My idea is I want to be able to tell the story behind the art. I want Valley artists to be able to tell their story. I am excited about opening this studio. I am looking at mid-to-late February depending on when the grants I applied for and the loan I applied for come through. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out. The studio is a dream come true for me, and I can’t wait to tell my story through my art as well.”
Graves begin painting in 2019.
“Artists will talk about how they started painting at a young age,” she said. “I wasn’t artistically inclined at a young age, to be perfectly honest, I never really thought much about art. I remember looking at pictures on the internet one night back in 2019 and thinking, wow those look interesting I could probably do that. I grabbed some paint and my secret to spreading the paint, and I began painting. After that night, it just became my passion and I have never stopped.”
Graves stated that she began painting in her bedroom but quickly grew out of her bedroom and started using other areas of the house.
“With the way that my artistry was going I knew I was going to outgrow my house too,” Graves said. “I had been thinking about many prospects since I arrived here in the Valley. My vision was always a collaborative effort though. I saw myself opening a studio, but I wanted to involve more people, more artists. I had originally looked at the courthouse in Alamosa and thought of maybe a coop there, like a little community for local businesses that are just starting and need a fresh start. There just isn’t enough of that kind of thing around here. In speaking with some local artists, they were very supportive of me opening something too. They told me to go for it, and they would support my efforts. The building that I found is absolutely perfect. There’s plenty of space in the back for me to paint, and in the front, there is enough space to showcase a good amount of art. My plan is to have multiple artists on display and charge them a small percentage to sell their art. I have seen some business, that sell art pieces on consignment, and collect almost 65% of the artist’s price. Artists deserve more than that for their work. There are tons of artists all over the valley. I think this could prove to be something great for our town. I want to make it great for our town.”
Graves added that her vision entails having a studio that is both functional and fun and can be changed up with multiple themes. Graves gave examples of the themes such as changing everything to look like a mad hatter tea party and featuring artwork within the theme.
Graves also spoke of having collaboration from other businesses in town and how she felt that the studio could also help tourism in the summer.
“I have seen Valley artists that have to sell their art in bigger cities, here we can sell their pieces to local people and serve tourists that normally buy in bigger cities too,” she said.
Graves said that her new studio is a giant Christmas gift to her, and she can’t wait to open and share it with everyone.
“I love hearing people’s interpretation of my work. I never know what people are going to see,” she said.
For more information, visit www.JenniferGArtistry.com.