Interior designer Kathleen O’Neil Stevens has opened an art gallery, Renaissance Fine Art & Design, on West Main Street in Carmel’s “arts and design” district.
The opening is a homecoming of sorts for Stevens, who formerly operated a studio-gallery for her own work on East Carmel Drive. Stevens, who is also an artist, said she first learned about Carmel’s arts and retail district when it was in the planning stages more than a decade ago, but she felt the time wasn’t right for her to move there.
Instead, she eventually closed her combined studio-gallery space, and moved to the Stutz building in downtown Indianapolis, where she could focus on her work. Stevens, a St. Margaret’s Hospital Guild Decorator’s Show House designer the past 14 years, creates everything from mosaics to jewelry.
Stevens said she finally responded to multiple invitations from Carmel-based designers.
“A lot of people from a lot of different directions were calling me,” she said.
Stevens settled on a space at 246 W. Main St., a brick building that also houses the Soori gallery and Artichoke Designs.
Renaissance is representing 25 local and national artists working in a variety of media. Several of the local artists she is representing have their studios in the Stutz building.
Renaissance has already sold work by local artists Colleen Lauter, Patti Trostle and Karen Land, as well as Harry Sandler of New York.
Stevens said she’s enjoying the fact that she has to clean nose and hand prints off the front windows when she opens every morning, just as she did when she was showing her own work on East Carmel Drive.
“That just kind of warms my heart that someone would enjoy my work that much to leave little prints on the glass,” she said.
“It’s such a personal process to select a piece of art,” Stevens said, “But I hope that my eye and expertise as both an artist and interior designer will help narrow the choices for my clients.”
Stevens, who lives in a recently annexed neighborhood of Carmel, plans to keep her studio in the Stutz and continue working with her own local and national clientele.
“I love beauty and humor, whimsy and quirky profoundness. I also love helping artists find their following, and helping people learn how vital original art can be in their lives.”
Renaissance is planning its first major show to open Nov. 18, featuring artists Sandler and Barbara Ventura of Miami.•