When Scott Sullivan moved his architectural office, Erickson Sullivan Architects, to a new location on the second floor at 110 S. 14th St. (14th and O streets), it was his desire to have a creative neighbor and contribute to the arts community in Lincoln.
With an open and available tenant space next to Erickson Sullivan Architects, he decided developing the space as artists’ studios and a gallery would be the perfect answer. So, at the close of 2017, Chapin Studios and Gallery was launched.
“As both a gallery and artists’ studios, we seek to provide a unique collaboration of select local artists that seek an inspirational studio work environment, co-existing with a gallery that provides patrons the opportunity to enjoy a variety of exceptional, affordable, local and regional contemporary art,” Sullivan said.
“Whereas some galleries typically exhibit the works of members and other galleries may only exhibit the works of guest artists, we aspire to provide patrons the most variety of contemporary art by offering the works of studio artists, select local artists and a variety of artists from throughout the Midwest,” Sullivan continued. “The goal of providing patrons this wide variety of talent takes considerable time and energy to accomplish, but we pride ourselves in providing what we feel is a unique variety of art.”
Although Sullivan owns the gallery, Chapin Studios and Gallery has been established as a very collaborative operation. The three current studio artists, Nicole Shulde, Dave Christiansen and Cohagen Wilkinson, work collaboratively with Sullivan to determine everything from monthly featured artists to upcoming events and future directions for the Gallery and Studios.
“It’s a wonderful, creative, enjoyable experience,” Sullivan said.
Shulde agreed, saying, “We just have three studios, and it’s just the four of us and we work together. It’s a good mix of ideas. We have similar goals and similar visions for what we want this place to be. Scott’s been really good at listening to our ideas.”
Shulde had a booth at the Lincoln Arts Festival in 2017. Sullivan called her the Monday after and said that they had visited at the show and he had a vision for a new space in Lincoln.
“He wondered if I would be a studio artist and possibly help him launch a gallery,” Shulde said. “After a few meetings, I jumped on board. He was also a big fan of Dave Christiansen and asked Dave to join us, and we started from the ground up. Dave did the logo and we voted on which one we wanted, and we talked about the display window in the front, how we wanted to set the gallery up and what kind of art we wanted to show. We built it up from one idea to the next. I’m flattered that Scott asked me to be a part of this because it’s been a really great opportunity.”
Sullivan has enjoyed traveling the Midwest, attending artists’ festivals and meeting many talented regional artists. Wilkinson is a recent addition to the studio artists.
Shulde is in her studio at Chapin Studios and Gallery every Friday from 1-5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Her studio is also open every First Friday from 5-9 p.m. and by appointment.
“I’m here working in my studio and also open to people who want to come in and see the work,” she said. “I’m here in the evenings a lot. I’m here as much as I can be.”
As for what Sullivan sees ahead for the gallery, “I believe our gallery mission is to simply continue to strive to provide our patrons the greatest variety of exceptional local and regional contemporary art, establishing ourselves as an outstanding local resource for terrific art.
“Foremost, I have a great appreciation for the arts and the many talented artists in the community,” he continued. “Therefore, this was my opportunity to help share these local and regional artistic talents with the community. Secondly, this has been a wonderful opportunity to meet more of the many artists and patrons in the community. And thirdly, this has been my own opportunity to gain further personal appreciation for the personalities, talents and motivations inside each of these creative artists!”
For a complete list of artists and other information, visit chapingallery.com.