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January 05, 2018 10:00 PM

A Work Of Art

An art instructor has returned home from the east coast; hoping to paint a whole new picture of his hometown of Luverne, Minnesota. 

He's opened a new business on Main Street; something you typically only find in much larger cities. 

If you look down Main Street in Luverne, Minnesota you get a nostalgic feeling that takes you back in time, one where life was a little simpler and a lot more quiet; at least that's what attracted Cody Henrichs and his wife when they decided to move back from the East Coast to his hometown to open an artist in-residency program. 

"We looked at Rhode Island, Massachusetts, we weren't really finding what we wanted in terms of a good cost effective space, but also a big enough space," Henrichs said.

He found that space here in the newly renovated and historic Coffeey building.  

After Henrichs got his master's degree from the Rhode Island School of Design, he and his wife packed their bags, returned home and opened his life long dream; a place that he says offers physical and mental space.  

"It's a free open space the artists can really focus on their work and honestly without sounding biased it's stunning, it's a beautiful town; I mean right now it looks great outside," Henrichs said. 

His program focuses on three areas; education, exhibition and continued professional development. 

"We have the gallery, the Lord Grizzley Gallery, which exhibits professional artist from all around the world," Henrichs said. 

Like Doug Burns, whose abstract art pieces are now on display for the public to see.

"We have our studio workspace which is for our artists in residence," Henrichs said. 

Here, they can work and focus on their art with all the supplies they need. Paint, brushes, canvas, even a wood working area. 

"And then we have our living quarters upstairs which is where the artists live while they are working in our main space down here," Henrichs said. 

The living quarters offers space for six and solitude for all.   

An in-residency program is not for a hobby artist, it's for those who look to make a living from their art.   They first have to apply through a fairly rigorous process.

"If they are accepted into our program they come for a 90 day rotation. During that 90 days they have visits from professors from the area, critics curators; they have 24 hours access to myself and this space. 

"The goal is they are building up toward some kind of professional advancement," Henrichs said. 

He's only been open for a few weeks and says it's slowly taking off with interest from artists all across the country. 

"It's beautiful, it's quiet and its an opportunity to step away from the rush and grind of if you live in Brooklyn and you rent your little studio and you work three jobs none of them are art making; this suddenly becomes this beautiful sort of step away," Henrichs said. 

To learn more about Lord Grizzley Gallery and The Coffey Contemporary of Arts and the artist in-residency program and how much it costs, click here.

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