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Entrepreneurial couples banking on demand for art

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Central Indiana entrepreneurs are keeping the faith in consumer demand for art and crafts. One art-collecting couple has opened a fine-art gallery in Zionsville, while the founder of a contemporary craft show is planning a boutique on Indianapolis’ east side.

Watts Fine Art opened May 1 at 20 N. Main St. in Zionsville. The owners are Shannon and John Watts, the former president and CEO of WellPoint Inc.’s commercial business. The Watts will consign work by contemporary artists working in traditional styles. That includes western and what Shannon Watts describes as work inspired by “great masters.” One genre collectors won’t find in the new gallery is the Indiana landscape, something the Watts feel is already widely available in Midwestern galleries.
 

irving Irvington will become home to INDIEana Handicraft Exchange this summer. The exact location has not been decided. (IBJ File Photo)

Watts hopes to benefit from everyday foot traffic in the arts-and-antique hub of downtown Zionsville. The gallery opening was timed to coincide with the spring open house at nationally known artist Nancy Noel’s Sanctuary.

INDIEana Handicraft Exchange founder Amanda Taflinger plans to open a contemporary craft boutique in Irvington this July. Taflinger is drawing on a variety of nontraditional financing sources to open the store, Homespun. Taflinger and her husband, Neal Taflinger, have raised $5,000 through Kickstarter, an online fund-raising site for creative enterprises. They also received grants from the Irvington Development Organization and the Pepsi Refresh grant program. The boutique will follow a consignment business model, in which craft makers pay shipping costs and set retail prices. Taflinger plans to include gallery space for two-dimensional art and a workshop area that will host classes.
 

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  1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these people....do you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

  3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.

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