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Downtown business to feature local artists at new gallery
art show pic
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What do modern art, local bands and classic cars have in common? They will all be featured in downtown Turlock at Eclectic Charm's Art Reception Evening on July 2.

This Friday Night Live event, hosted at the Downtown Business Incubator by Eclectic Charm, is the first in what some hope will be a series of art events downtown.

“One is good, two is better, but three or more would be really fantastic. This would give people something fun to do in the evening in downtown Turlock. It would really give them a reason to come downtown,” said Susana Love, owner of Eclectic Charm.

Love opened her business in the Downtown Incubator on what she calls a whim.

“I said 'hey, why not?' and 60 days later I had the space (in the downtown incubator).”

Love has 20 years experience in banking, and she is knowledgeable about business. Her husband, Kenneth Themm, makes hand-made chainmail jewelry and the two of them sold items at trade shows. Love said her real inspiration to start her own store-front business came from her friend Susan Duffy, who makes tie-dye clothing. Love wanted to start a business where Duffy and other merchants and artists could bring their creativity to the community.

“I think some local artists are starving for an atmosphere where there are not so many rules,” Love said.

Eclectic Charm started with one space in the Downtown Incubator, where Love features mostly local or handmade goods. The store is now expanding into a second space, which will be used as an art gallery.

Love also displays local art in the lobby of the Downtown Incubator. The space was empty before, and Love said the art added something extra to the building.

“It also gives local modern artists a place to display their art in a clean environment that is low cost,” Love said.

The July 2 art reception will be a public showing of the work already displayed at the Downtown Incubator, and also the opening event for the new gallery. Several other downtown businesses got involved in the reception, and it evolved into a downtown art event.

There will be street vendors and local bands from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. in front of the Downtown Incubator at 300 E. Main St. on July 2. The Valley Corvette Car Club will also have a display in front of the store.

There will be a reception for Virginia White's “Local Landmarks and Exotic Places” at Turlock Community Art Gallery, 132 S. Center Street (inside Rex Klein Insurance), from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. White's watercolors, oils and acrylics will hang in the gallery through December. The Turlock Community Art Gallery will also host a book signing and the poetry works of Rena Louise at that time.

California State University, Stanislaus, which has an office in the Downtown Incubator building, will sponsor snacks and beverages for the event.  

Susana Love hopes that the art events will become a monthly happening in downtown Turlock, and maybe someday become a local art walk.

“This could really revive downtown,” Love said.

Eclectic Charm is looking for more local artists who want to display their work. Love said that she is looking for modern art, and non-traditional expression is just fine with her.

“Don't be shy; I'm not here to judge. As long as you respect your art and it's modern art, it's what we're looking for,” Love said.

For more information about Eclectic Charm, displaying artwork, or the Friday Night Live event, call Susana Love at 250-1959.

To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.