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Thu, Aug. 22

Novel idea has artists representing other artists

In other words, Frerking said, artists feel comfortable putting their work on consignment at Van Gogh's Ear because they know the people running the gallery have experience showing and selling their own art.

"We've been there. We are there," Brennion said.

Frerking said the gallery hosts "extraordinarily diverse kinds of art," and sells items that range in price from a $20 coffee mug to a several-thousand-dollar painting.

And while prices range, so do media and texture, color, line, shape and dimension. The gallery exhibits colorful jewelry, shiny woodwork, funky painted shoes, glossy glasswork and gently curving ceramics. Artists show their sculptures, furniture, drawings, paintings and photographs.

And while Frerking said all of the art is high quality, she added the owners strive to make Van Gogh's Ear a place where people feel comfortable either browsing or asking for information on the most expensive pieces.

"It's refined but very personal," Brennion said.

Both Brennion and Frerking said they've spoken with mothers who bring their children into the gallery just to teach them about art.

"People say they come in here for their dose of culture," Brennion said.

And with 13 people running the gallery, culture's in the mix. Each person has a specific job in the gallery's operation, from setting up the exhibits to screening potential art to shipping and receiving to purchasing. Some people do advertising and others take care of the money.

Everyone takes a turn sitting the gallery.

Frerking said that when the group started the gallery, its members decided to let each person do his or her job, and not to question that person's decisions. That way, everyone gets along.

Brennion and Frerking said one of the members tossed out the name, Van Gogh's Ear, during a creative moment, and it just stuck.

"Like (owner) Royce Carlson said, 'you may hate it or you may love it, but you don't forget it,'" Frerking said.

And the owners' goal is that people won't forget the art, either.

"Our idea was to give art to the community," Brennion said.

"We knew that a gallery of this sort was not only needed in Prescott," Frerking said, "but would thrive in Prescott."

And so far, it has. Visit the Van Gogh's Ear gallery at 156 B, S. Montezuma St. in Prescott. For information, call 776-1080.

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