A new gallery at Third and York streets will bring the disciplines of art and architecture together under one roof.
The gallery, named Maker’s Crucible, is centered around art that can be displayed in a home or incorporated into a home design, said Naomi Stuecker, co-curator of Maker’s Crucible, an art agent and glass artist.
The name Maker’s Crucible refers partly to a tool called a crucible used by glass artists when heating up the glass in a furnace.
“Crucible is a term that is easily recognized by the glass community,” Stuecker said. “Makers infers that its wood, metal, all the materials one would find in architecture.”
Maker’s Crucible will occupy about 5,000 square feet of the new Luckett & Farley building at 741-749 S. Third St., which the Louisville architecture firm bought last year as part of a broader effort to revitalize the SoBro district.
“It is kind of collision of arts and science, right brain and left brain,” Stuecker said.
It will feature a variety of artists who work with paint, glass, iron, wood and a camera, and will include a mixture of useful art such as stained-glass windows, furniture and hand-forged railing, as well as decorative art such as photographs and paintings. The gallery also will serve as a way for artists to connect to architects and corporations and vice versa.
“We are hoping to create an intersection where applied artists can rub shoulders with the corporate world,” said Brad Meredith, co-curator at Maker’s Crucible and a multi-media sculptor. “If you don’t have the connections or the marketing or advertising ability, it is hard to get out there and get jobs.”
Stuecker connected with Luckett & Farley through Gant Hill, founder of real estate company Gant Hill & Associates. Hill and Realtor Robert Wang helped Luckett & Farley acquire the building at Third and York streets, and Hill worked with Stuecker in her capacity as an art agent to secure glass artist Stephen Rolfe Powell for a unique real estate showing/art show.
“They saw the show that I put on, and Tim Pitcher (president of Luckett & Farley Development) thought it would be a great idea to add a showcase to the building,” Stuecker said.
She then brought Meredith into the fold. The two previously worked at Glassworks on architectural glass art.
Maker’s Crucible is painting its space at Third and York streets, installing pedestals and lighting for the art, and building walls for a few artist studios and a gift shop.
The space will host lectures from artists about their process and their latest works and serve as an educational space for artists with different levels of experience.
Maker’s Crucible is partnering with St. Francis High School, and possibly Presentation Academy, to offer more art education opportunities. For example, the gallery will have a kiln and let students use it to learn ceramics. Internships at the gallery also will be open to students.
“It’s full circle. We discover some students who need some mentoring on how to put your art out into the world or how to be architect-ready,” Meredith said. “People learning, people making all under one center.”
The gallery will make its debut on April 19 during Louisville’s Be Kind Festival. Maker’s Crucible will host special events from 2 to 9 p.m. that Tuesday.
Powell and photographer and printmaker Rex Lagerstrom will anchor Maker’s Crucible. Other featured artists will include: glass artists Travis Adams, Devyn Baron, Bob Cheever and Devin French; painters Jodie Baum and Chris Chappell; blacksmith Sherman Blankenship; multi-media artist Aron Conaway; glass artist and sculptor Amy Pender; and printmaker Norman Spencer.
The tentative hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sundays, but those are subject to change. The business also is open by appointment for serious art buyers.
“Selling Stephen Powells are kind of like selling cars,” Stuecker said, noting that it’s not something you walk in off the street and buy.