Local Woodbury art gallery showcases original pieces by local artists.
Scott Lloyd Anderson was embarking on a second career as a plein air painter in Minneapolis when he first met the late Donald Kelley, former co-owner of Woodbury’s Kelley Gallery. “He was fun, affable, charismatic and he was interested in what I was doing,” Lloyd Anderson says. “I liked him quite a bit, and he liked my work.”
That meeting would mark the beginning of a fruitful relationship that would last until Kelley’s death in 2018. It was also the beginning of a relationship between the painter and Kelley Gallery. Today, Lloyd Anderson is one of the more than 35 local artists represented at the gallery.
“They support and show working artists’ original art,” Lloyd Anderson says. “That’s a big thing. That’s a great thing.”
Kelley Gallery has been a Woodbury mainstay for more than three decades. Located in the City Centre Plaza, it offers prints, posters, home décor and custom framing in addition to original art.
Kelley Gallery’s history dates back to 1985 when father-son duo Ed and Donald Kelley opened the first location in Hudson, Wisconsin. Four years later, the two added the Woodbury branch. Both locations are still in operation, and the business also maintains a production facility in Roberts, Wisconsin.
Though Ed and Donald have passed away, their legacy remains—as does their appreciation for art and artists. “We pride ourselves on impeccable customer service, strong relationships and quality,” says Kelley Gallery director Kyle Shanahan.
Shanahan has been with Kelley Gallery for 24 years. While his high school contemporaries were scooping ice cream or lifeguarding at the beach, Shanahan was following his passion for the arts to a job at the gallery, and he’s been there ever since. Shanahan takes great satisfaction in maintaining the gallery’s positive reputation and loves that they can offer customers a wide variety of art to choose from—especially original works.
There was a conscious decision in the 1990s to “promote and show local artists within the gallery,” Shanahan says. “There is a phenomenal amount of talent in the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin.”
Lisa Fertig has been selling her work at Kelley Gallery off and on for the better part of 20 years. Though she creates both abstract and realistic fine art, it’s the Arden Hills’ artist’s nonobjective work that can be found at Kelley Gallery.
“I love the spontaneous nature,” Shanahan says of Fertig’s art. “The color, texture, composition. It’s fun, and there are great pops of color.”
“I think I filled a void at Kelley,” Fertig says.
The gallery finds its artists through various channels, including reaching out to artists whose work they’ve run across at art fairs and such, as well as taking meetings with artists who have contacted them. The goal is to find a variety of art that appeals to their customers.
“Kyle is very aware of what his audience wants,” Lloyd Anderson says. “What seems to work best for them is some connection to Minnesota.”
“There is a lot of Midwestern scenes,” Shanahan says, noting that lakes remain their most popular subjects among customers.
Lloyd Anderson has painted his fair share of lake scenes in the course of his career. His collection of oil paintings also contains many instantly recognizable locales, from the North Shore of Lake Superior and the Gunflint Trail to Minnehaha Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge.
“Scott has a fantastic way of capturing the light of the season,” Shanahan says. “There’s a lot of warmth in his winter scenes [and] little splashes of color.”
Lloyd Anderson also offers some unexpected subject choices from the reconstruction of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis to a local gas station scene to a trio of pontoon boats, covered and out of the water. “He has a way of finding beauty in things that are laying around every day,” Shanahan says.
Such works offer great variety for customers coming into Kelley Gallery. “There’s such a diverse range of styles in the gallery,” Lloyd Anderson says.
Fertig agrees. “The displays are beautiful, such a nice assortment of diverse work in all mediums,” she says.
While art sales make up a portion of the gallery’s revenue, framing is Kelley Gallery’s bread and butter. “It’s truly custom,” Shanahan says. “You can create almost anything. We like to say no challenge is too big or too small.”
Shanahan says framing is important for those pieces you want to preserve, be it an annual school picture or a priceless painting. Their designers walk customers through the whole process from selecting the type of glass to matting to the style of frame. “We use the best materials,” Shanahan says. “All you have to know is what you like and don’t like.”
Shanahan says they do a lot of framing for corporate businesses, including Midwest One Bank, the Xcel Energy Center and the Minnesota Wild. Among the pieces he’s done, Shanahan says he’s proudest of the concert memorabilia they’ve framed for the suite level of Xcel Energy Center—specifically the frames used for the Minnesota Wild captains’ jerseys and a frame he designed for the saxophone played by Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. The frame was created to look like the inside of a saxophone case complete with velvet background, a leather-wrapped frame and brass corners. “That’s what keeps this job interesting,” Shanahan says. “There are so many possibilities. If 10 people bring in the same art, we can frame it a thousand different ways.”