Local artist unveils new gallery in downtown Kent

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Jeff Ingram and Audrey Henry at the “Those Damn Dames” art gallery ope​​ning on Friday, July 8, 2016. Henry is the artist behind the art gallery which was helped made possible by the Standing Rock Cultural Art, a nonprofit organization where Ingram is the executive director.

Angelo Angel

In a small but cozy art suite in downtown Kent on Friday, Audrey Henry entertained guests at the opening of her art gallery titled “Those Damn Dames.”

The event—held at The North Water Street Gallery—was made possible by the Standing Rock Art Cultural, a nonprofit organization that helps bring art to the Kent community.

“I feel awesome … everyone coming in makes everything worth it,” Henry said. “It’s like all the work I put into it and with the nervousness I was going through, I’m just calm now and everything turned out great.”

Walls at the exhibit are adorned with colorful women presented in dramatic fashion, often including bold poses and bright colors. Smaller works of art and Henry’s coloring book “Selfies,” are available for purchase.

 

“Drawing women has always been my focus,” Henry said. “I really like the female form.”

Born and raised in Kent, Henry studied art at Kent State in 2003 until various factors made her decide that college wasn’t something she wanted to continue pursuing.

“I just decided that college wasn’t something I wanted,” Henry said. “I got good grades and everything, but it just didn’t appeal to me.”

Jeff Ingram, executive director of Standing Rock Art Cultural and one of the individuals who helped put the exhibit together, said the art show was six months in the making.

“I love to see the community coming together for art,” Ingram said.

Ingram became familiar with Henry’s work after he saw what she’d done for Uncle Mo’s Pea Pies Cafe, a food truck that features all vegetarian food options.

Maurice Drake, also known as Uncle Mo, hired Henry to design a poster for his food truck.

“The poster was amazing,” Drake said. “I showed it to Jeff, who was amazed and wanted to meet her.”

Henry said for the opening of her art gallery, she wants to be able to present art that showcases women who just want to have fun and feel comfortable expressing themselves.

“Some art that I do is commission-based, so to be able to draw something that I’d like to see, it feels refreshing.” Henry said.

“Those Damn Dames” art gallery is available to the public until August 20.

Contact Angelo Angel at [email protected]