Local Artist Ferst to Open Art Gallery Downtown

January 29, 2015

Jeff in his studio.

Jeff in his studio. Photo courtesy of Jeff Ferst.

By Simon Brimmer

If you’re going to be a hub for arts and entertainment, it doesn’t hurt to add more art. Local artist Jeff Ferst has answered the call. His Artful Living gallery is scheduled to open in March at One East Broadway.

“The timing is right,” said Ferst. “I like what I’m seeing Downtown with the entertainment and restaurant openings that are happening, and the buzz. I started looking for studio space about a year ago. The Downtown corridor gives me an opportunity for more exposure and for opening a gallery.”

Ferst’s successful career has spanned a quarter century, and in that time he’s learned to combine two often difficult facets: the ability to maintain artistic creativity while recognizing the importance of business functionality.

Ferst's Dancing in to the Sunset

Ferst’s Dancing in to the Sunset. Photo courtesy of Jeff Ferst.

“There are times I’ve had other businesses and done other things, and I think that’s helped,” Ferst said. “I’ve been self employed for most of my adult life so I kind of understand the business side as much as I do the artistic side. Most times it’s the business side that keeps you afloat.”

And while Ferst readily admits the gallery business can be tough, it continues to be a worthwhile endeavor that blends the necessity of control with his creative passion.

“The reason for opening the gallery is to allow me to continue that creative journey,” said Ferst. “What’s happening in the artistic community, and gallery community specifically, is you get pigeonholed into doing a particular style of work because that’s what you’re known for and what gallery owners have developed clientele for, so the opportunity to explore other things and grow is sometimes difficult for some artists because the gallery owners who represent them want to see them produce a particular type of work to sell. Having a gallery myself allows me to explore and do other things, and I can still maintain my business relationship with other gallery locations and produce the work they’re looking to sell.”

Jeff Ferst will open his Downtown studio in March.

Jeff Ferst will open his Downtown studio in March. Photo courtesy of Jeff Ferst.

That work includes original art, home décor and clothing items. The Ferst trademark is art with a bright and lyrical flare.

After a great deal of location scouting, Ferst feels the One East Broadway spot is the ideal showcase.

“I think it’s going to be a very cool space,” said Ferst. “I looked at a lot of spaces. I looked at some of the art centers around Sixth and Sixth, The Warehouse District and around Congress, and chose the space because it allows me to have a business, to have the gallery, and still maintain my studio and business so it’s not a 24/7 operation. I have some flexibility to respond to customer needs and my other business interests.”

The Ferst gallery grand opening is slated for March 1.