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Cleveland Art Market Opens on Madison Avenue

Valerie Konopka was attracted to Lakewood and inspired to open the Cleveland Art Market at 16806 Madison Avenue.

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.

Lauren Hansgen April 05, 2013 at 08:32 PM
Hi Doug, I don't know where your comment went, maybe you took it down. My engagement in online commenting forums is next to nothing...because it's incredibly difficult to have a productive conversation--such vitriol! If it makes you uncomfortable to "take me at word for doing what I say I do" I'd love to invite you to Cleveland Artists Foundation (located inside the Beck Center) where I work as Executive Director, so you can see for yourself that I was being honest and that my opinions, though opinions, are informed ones. Throughout the course of my art history education I always knew that I wanted to put my skills to use in a practical way--at a museum--where I would be able to engage with the public and show them that art is for everyone to enjoy. I don't approach art with "snobbery"--however, I do approach art and artists with a great deal of respect. I would enjoy showing you our latest exhibition or just talking about the local arts scene if you are interested. Please seek me out anytime. And just a note, my original criticism of the misuse of the word "gallery" was always directed at the author of the article, not the business owner--because yes, she is not the one who said it. All the best to her venture.
Lauren Hansgen April 05, 2013 at 08:33 PM
My mistake, I can see the comment now.
dougmoore April 05, 2013 at 09:40 PM
Lauren..I truly do understand you better now & take you at your word that you, "aproach art and artists with a great deal of respect". Also, I hope you realize museum & gallery, by definition, are interchangable; as is gallery & shop. Thanks for the invite. I consider THE BECK to be a great teasure, one that Lakewood almost lost. Ive spent many days at THE BECK, in the courtyard, in the cafe..even in the galleries & my daughter has taken classes there. I hope to meet you soon..coffees on me! PEACE.
Art Forartsake April 06, 2013 at 03:07 AM
doug... I totally agree. All art is up to personal interpretation, which is what makes Ian's comments so absurd. I visited the websites of the galleries/ artist colonies he posted and IMO found most of the work to be rather mediocre. As a matter of fact one of the "real artists" worked for me as an assistant years ago. A great person, but not a great artist then, or now. His most ridiculous statement was.."All I am saying is that for hundreds of years, there have evolved proven/legitimate/established norms, histories, critiques and theories about what qualifies and does not qualify as art." To me that statement indicates Ian actually knows nothing about art. What centuries old "norm" was used to qualify Jackson Pollack, Andy Warhol, Picasso or Rodin? Something tells me Ian has a stake in this gallery's failure. No one posts such pathetic vitriol about someone, or a business that doesn't affect them... unless it does.
Joshua McLaughlin September 03, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Looks like she is already out of business. I had a collection of photography for sale there and she appears to have packed up shop and disappeared. I haven't been able to get a response from here with the two emails and phone number I have. Does anybody have any info on how to get ahold of her?

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