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Downtown Art Gallery Hosts Artist Co-op Concept

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Oct 17, 2019
Gallery Citrine is hosting several classes and workshops through the end of the year. The art gallery opened in downtown Wilmington in late August. (Photo courtesy of Gallery Citrine)
One of downtown Wilmington's newest art galleries is combining the knowledge and works of several resident artists into a single space.

Gallery Citrine, located at 17 S. 2nd St., has been featuring artists since its opening in late August. Owners Donna Launey and her husband, Pat Tester, set up the gallery and artist studios.

The operation, however, is based on a co-op model. The name is inspired by the Citrine stone, which Launey said is "known as the sunshine stone for the soul."

"Our motto is creativity, joy and light," Launey said in an email.  

Several local artists collaborated to create a combined environment for working studios, a gallery and an opportunity for educational programs based on similar models found in other communities around the state, she said.

"We wanted to bring this concept to downtown Wilmington and attract tourists and locals alike. Wilmington has a thriving downtown and the art scene here is growing and is attracting people from all over the state," Launey said.

Gallery Citrine has 10 resident artists and six working studios, she said, adding that some artists share studio space. There is a range of mediums and 3D styles featured at Gallery Citrine.

The artists are able to showcase their work in the gallery and in their studios.

"We also have several exhibiting artists, which are local or regional and this will rotate over time. The public has the opportunity not only to view the artists' products but also to meet the artists and learn more about their inspiration and processes," she said.

Launey, a retired physician who moved to Wilmington in 2015, said she began painting about a year after moving to the city.

"Since discovering this passion I have not looked back," she said.

Launey is also one of the resident artists and is an acrylic painter.

Gallery Citrine's educational programming will offer a wide range of classes, including jewelry making and floral arranging.

"We will also offer fine art classes in oil, acrylic, watercolor and mixed media to artists at all levels of experience, from beginner to experienced," she said. 

The gallery has released some class and workshop dates scheduled for November and December. Next month, Gallery Citrine is hosting "The Happy Habit of Painting," a workshop with artist Monica Linares, along with several others.

This month's featured artist is Joan McLoughlin, a local acrylic and mixed media artist, according to its website.

"The art community here is a welcoming and nurturing one and this positive energy translates to an array of phenomenal art in this community that is unparalleled for a city of this size," Launey said. "I am convinced Wilmington will become a more prominent art destination as we continue to grow."
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