“I joke that I blame my parents,” said Gundega Spons Stevens with a laugh. “My parents’ house is filled from top to bottom, salon style, (with) artwork. I grew up with it. So after working in many galleries and museums throughout my career, my dream was to have my own space.”
Five years ago this September, her dream came true with the opening of G44 Gallery at 1785 8th St., tucked into Cheyenne Plaza.
“I grew up in that area and went to high school at Cheyenne Mountain. That’s my neighborhood and it’s nice to be next door to my family, who own Sovereignty Wines,” Gundega said. “I love that part of town, the neighborhood has been so supportive of me and the gallery.
“The challenges are that I’m tucked in the corner. It’s not a heavy foot-traffic area, which can be challenging, but the gallery is a destination spot, people come there looking for art.”
G44 Gallery has become a destination for arts fans seeking high-quality solo exhibitions of local and regional contemporary artists. Stevens’ two degrees in art history and her professional experience at museums and galleries have made her a well-respected curator of work from both up-and-coming talent and established icons of our creative community. G44 consistently showcases visually powerful, thought-provoking and memorable modern art.
But that doesn’t mean it should be intimidating.
“People sometimes are intimidated to walk into a gallery because they say they don’t know anything about art,” Stevens said. “I believe I cater to everyone and anyone, from the novice who is buying their first piece of artwork to the person that has an extensive art collection.”
If you are new to buying art, Stevens offered encouragement.
“Do you like a piece or not? Does it speak to you? Start there. Buy artwork because it speaks to you, it moves you in some way, you can’t stop looking at it,” she said. “Art is a very personal purchase. Buy it because you want to live with it forever not because you hope it appreciates in value. The value is in your heart.”
Stevens’ heartfelt desire for more people to purchase local contemporary art has inspired a new expansion at G44 Gallery. The new Platform at G44 carries beautifully handcrafted products by local artisans that are “more giftable” than some pieces off of the gallery wall. Platform at G44 is being launched as a team effort between Stevens and Karen Khoury, a well-known abstract artist in Colorado Springs.
“I am always asked if I’m an artist,” Stevens said. “I am an art historian but I do consider the gallery my art. Finding artists, curating the shows is my art, my passion.”
It’s a passion that was supported by her parents, who you’ll recall she “blames” for a lot of this goodness. Appropriately, the gallery that is Stevens’ “dream come true” is named in honor of her mother, who was born on April, 4, 1944 (4/4/44) and passed away from cancer a few years ago.
Come along with me on a tour of G44 Gallery and the new Platform at G44 that we broadcast live on Facebook: tinyurl.com/zvam5lc.
Or visit G44 Gallery yourself this month to see transcendent abstracts painted by Lori DiPasquale and Catherine Giglio. The exhibit runs through April 1, and 20 percent of all sales will be donated to Capital Sisters International, which provides micro loans to women in poverty and works to advance the economic empowerment of women through entrepreneurship.
Originally written by Angela Seals of the Cultural Office and published in the Cheyenne Edition on March 1, 2017.