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The Venue features colorful floral paintings by Midwestern artist



For the past 10 years the Venue Fine Art & Gifts has showcased an abundance of artistic creations including jewelry, ceramics, soaps and paintings. Until Nov. 30, this collection will also include the colorful floral paintings of artist Jody Hemphill Smith.

“I’m like a disciplined graffiti artist,”Smith said, laughing.

The Venue co-owners Dave and Gabriel Colman said their goal is to appeal to a wide range of Midwesterners, the audience they typically expect at their art gallery behind Soma on Kirkwood Avenue. 

 “We’ve gone all over the country looking for artists,” Dave Colman said.

This is the first time Smith’s work has been displayed at the Venue, and it happened almost by accident. Colman was driving home from another art show in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and decided to take an hourlong detour to explore a gallery in Fort Wayne, Indiana, named “Castle Gallery.” 

He saw Smith's artwork there and asked if she would be willing to be featured at the Venue.

It is no doubt that what attracted Colman to Smith's work to begin with is her colors since he is a self-proclaimed “colorist” who loves vivid paintings.

Smith said her inspiration for the collection at the Venue is “big and bold.” 

Smith said one of her favorite techniques is layering acrylic paint on top of spray paint, giving her paintings a textured and 3D look. Many of the backgrounds in her collection appear faded because of the spray paint and contrast to the flower that is the main focal point. 

It is free to visit the Venue, and all the work is available for purchase. After recent changes in its hours, it is now closed Tuesdays and open 11a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

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