Functional and fine art gallery to open at month’s end

The new gallery, Artista Bottega, will host its grand opening Aug. 30 across the street from the legendary Jacob Schmidt Brewing Company.

Nance Derby, the sole proprietor of the shop on West 7th has designed props for The Guthrie and the Saint Paul City Ballet, as well as scenes from The Mighty Ducks and Grumpy Old Men. Now she is opening her gallery to the public to showcase artists’ works in her own space, but the place will provide more than temporary home for paintings and sculptures.

Wall Sconce by Marty Hicks via Hixwerx
Wall Sconce by Marty Hicks via Hixwerx

She says soon she’ll offer purses and scarves as well and functional and fine art for sale.

“I like to create practical pieces of art, myself. I’m working on bi-fold screens a friend brought in for me to paint,” she said.

If you take a stroll inside today, you’ll see the main room has the feel of a shop, with artworks ranging from $50 to upwards of $800 a piece. The interior looks like a dimly-lit drawing room circa 1800s, with rare pieces by local artists strewn about tables and quilted murals hanging on the walls. Here, you’ll find wrought-iron bottle-openers as well as 3-D multimedia artwork of the most creative origin.

Items at Artista Bottega appeal to the masses, serving as functional scenic pieces by Nance, herself, and disturbing magazine cutouts from the brilliant mind of Dan Wing live here as well.

There is also another room in the back, set off from the rest of the gallery, to house the works of featured artists in a more intimate setting.

Though it may seem to be an organized whole as it exists today, Nance says the space is constantly evolving and promises to offer classes by artists in the months to come.

"Mary Esch is a two-time winner of the Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship" via Book of Bartholomew
“Mary Esch is a two-time winner of the Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship” via Book of Bartholomew

One such class will be a series on refinishing antique frames as professionals with an eye for restoration teach budding artists the tricks of the trade.

The grand opening of Artista Bottega takes place on Aug. 30 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will continue the following day from 11-5.

There will be wine and snacks provided, as well as other art lovers who may wander in to chat about the work.

Visit the Artista Bottega website for more information.

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