Artist of the Week Katie Clark Gabbard at the inviting entrance to her studio at Front Street.
Like many people, Katie’s life was changed by the pandemic. When large weddings and other events were cancelled in 2020 the floral shop she had owned for 15 years was forced to close. She decided to reinvent herself as an artist. She got a studio at Front Street and started painting. She also got a side job (like most artists) as the Exhibitions Director at the Dayton Society of Artists.
“The transition from florist to painter was easier than you might think” she told me. “As a florist I needed to think about color, scale and texture. Also, I had been doing some painting over the years to decorate my shop.”
You need to contact Katie on facebook and set a time to visit her studio. In addition to smaller pieces like you see in this photo she has some work on display that is 14 feet high. “I wanted some large pieces that would really make a statement” she told me “but shipping large pieces to shows across the country costs a lot of money. I decided to try painting on large pieces of canvas that hang loosely on walls. They are pretty unique and have been getting into shows, and I can just roll them up and mail them at a reasonable rate.”
Katie’s career shift from florist to artist seems to be working out. She’s had art on display at Roy G Biv gallery in Columbus and at Shrine Gallery in New York, and she has a solo show at the Neon Heater Gallery in Findlay.