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New Staunton gallery focuses on artists, not just art

A new gallery for artists called The Basement on Byers located in Staunton's Wharf District.
A new gallery for artists called The Basement on Byers located in Staunton's Wharf District.(WVIR)
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 10:34 PM EST
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STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) - A new gallery in Staunton is giving artists not just a space to show their work, but also get support. It’s called The Basement on Byers. Owner Jillian Marie hopes her gallery will be a launch pad for artists.

Jillian Marie always wanted to work independently as an artist. “It’s something that was kind of my long-term goal,” she said.

COVID gave her a window. She made the tough choice to step down from a job as the executive director of the Beverley Street Studio School in order to teach her daughters during the pandemic.

“Once I was at home more, was able to kind of start creating more,”she stated.

The sparks started flying. “As I continued to paint and kind of wish... well I wish there was this, wish there was that. It just kind of started to snowball into well maybe this could actually happen,” she said.

Then she and her partner found a hidden-away spot in Staunton’s Wharf District. “I just instantly fell in love and had you know, just thoughts a million miles a minute going,” Jillian Marie said.

She opened The Basement on Byers. “It is a gallery space,”she said. “It’s not a reverent sacred place. You can come in, you can hang out, connect with the artwork.”

The art comes in all shapes, sizes, and mediums, from paintings and digital media to pieces made from vintage and recycled materials. “Like car parts, and old motorcycle chains, stuff like that,” she said.

Just as important to Jillian Marie, it’s a place for artists from all walks of life, providing store space, and support. “Really making sure that we love not just the art but the artist as well.”

Starting next month, she is bringing in that element of support with services like high quality art documentation, custom built canvases, bulk supply orders, and more.

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