Sager Braudis Gallery brings in new exhibits to showcase each month

A local Columbia art gallery combines artists from various places to showcase in exhibits.

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Combining artists’ work from around the world, Sager Braudis Gallery compiles a cohesive collection of various mediums in its Columbia studio. Beginning this year, the gallery will feature new artists and a new exhibit each month.

As a team of five, the gallery’s owners, director, designer and curator work together to select artists to showcase in the upcoming 2018 exhibits. The team created the calendar for the gallery in 2017, fitting in various artists to feature each month.

“People should watch for exhibit changes every month, which is intense for a small business to do,” Hannah Reeves, director of Sager Braudis Gallery said.

Since the team members are also artists of their own, diversity is an aspect the gallery is keen on when selecting artists and their work.

“The works we represent can be really various and diverse,” Reeves said. “We want to represent that variety of media and hold a high threshold for craftsmanship when curating artists.”

Artists whose work is featured in the gallery hail from local areas in the Midwest to countries around the world. The team selects artists by scouting in person, attending art fairs and exhibits, taking submissions and being active on social media. The gallery seeks an array of artwork while also wanting the room to visually work together as a composition.

“We combine five artists per exhibit based on what medium, what their palate looks like and how their color and style all fit together,” Reeves said.

From photography and collages to printmaking and paintings, the team looks for variety in different meanings and stories different artworks tell.

One artist in the Sager Braudis Gallery January exhibit is MU assistant teaching professor Matthew Ballou.

“My work is currently in a few shows around the country, but I love showing work here in mid -Missouri,” Ballou said. “This work is all new and fresh and was made to express my experiences in the Midwest. I’ve been in a number of shows at Sager Braudis but have never been a main feature artist, so I’m pleased with that opportunity.”

Featured in the local gallery’s first exhibit of the year, Ballou’s work is among other local and around the world artists. As the gallery curates artists at Midwest art fairs as well as exhibits in Cuba and Germany, diversity is shown throughout the gallery’s exhibits.

“Sager Braudis [Gallery] does incredible work and they are a pillar of the community here,” Ballour said. “I hope to continue working with them.”

Ballou describes his artwork as abstract as well as representational. Ranging from collage and spray paint to oil and oil pastels, Ballou’s works are chromatically intense.

“When I’m working representationally, I certainly have a scene or direction that I am considering, or that is informing me,” Ballou said. “When I work abstractly the purpose of the work is investigation and exploration.”

Inspired by experiences and observation, Ballou said his artwork tells the tales of his experiences primarily in the Midwest.

Sager Braudis Gallery works to understand each artwork and its message such as Ballou and the experiences he conveys in his artworks.

As director of Sager Braudis Gallery, Reeves describes her role as communicative. Reeves works to understand the works the gallery carries, why each work is valuable and why the work is chosen by interviewing the various artists to understand the messages of their work. Reeves is able to communicate those meanings to visitors at the gallery and start conversations about the various artworks.

“Sometimes people feel they can't talk about art and it’s really my role to start that conversation with people,” Reeves said. “People should trust in what they like and be able to talk about what they like. We really want everyone to feel welcome coming in the door.”

Free and open to the public from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Sager Braudis Gallery encourages everyone to explore and engage in art.

Edited by Brooke Collier | bcollier@themaneater.com

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