Valerie Konopka never intended to own an art gallery.
When the 26-year-old Berea native finished up her MBA program at Baldwin-Wallace a couple years ago, she began working as a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company.
After she was laid off a couple times, she decided to set out on her own.
Last month, Konopka opened the Cleveland Art Market at 16806 Madison Avenue.
“There are other galleries around here, so I assumed they were doing well,” said Konopka. “It’s a great area. And this community appreciates art.”
Madison Avenue Turning Into an Art District?
Cleveland Art Market features the work of about local 35 artists, with mediums ranging from paintings, to pillows, to jewelry. Konopka said the idea is to offer “affordable” art — all the items in the store are sold for less for $150.
She’s got some items — including custom paintings — of her own for sale.
Konopka said she “lucked out” with the space, just to the west of Lakewood Hardware and surrounded by other art galleries. When she moved in, the interior of the space had already undergone a renovation, with exposed tin ceilings, refinished wood floors and shelving units on the walls.
“I’ve always wanted to open my own business,” she said. “I was just tired of being laid off. I planned on opening my own business when I was in my 30s when I had more cash. But I didn’t want to wait.”
Want to sell your art at the Art Market? Visit the website to find out how.
The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The store is closed on Monday.