by PAUL BICKLEY
Ten local artists have launched a new art gallery in town: Viridian Moon Art Gallery, which began displaying the art of its members in January. Viridian, located at 1600 W. Bloomfield Road, has been closed for renovations since June but will reopen on August 21 for a grand opening celebration from 5–8 p.m.
“From the January opening, we have been testing the waters to see if there is enough interest in local artists’ works during the pandemic,” says multimedia artist and Viridian founder Irina Shishova, 43, who was born and raised in Moscow. “We were thrilled to meet the enthusiasm of Bloomington’s art lovers. More than 30 paintings by our artists have found new homes since the gallery opened.”
The gallery, named after Arkhip Kuindzhi’s painting Moonlight Night on the Dniepr (1880), is run by all 10 participating members, who take turns working shifts and continuously display about 150 of their artworks. The membership includes three watercolorists, four brush oil painters, a palette-knife oil painter, a fabric artist, and Shishova, who works in pencils, watercolors, oils, and acrylics.
Viridian also hosts local art group meetings and exhibits other local artists’ work. It will display the Bloomington Portrait Group’s work from August 21 through September 30 and the Bloomington Watercolor Society’s (BWS) from October 1 through November 14. “BWS is probably the biggest local art group, uniting over 80 local artists,” Shishova says, “and almost every member of the gallery is also a BWS member.”
Shishova established the gallery to provide local artists, many of whom are her friends, with an affordable place to display and sell their works. “Also,” she says, “I believed that after all this COVID-related doom and gloom, Bloomington could do with another art gallery.”
“For the four months Viridian was open,” Shishova continues, “it was a crossroads for artists and art-loving people and a place where artists could finally meet each other in person after such a long and dreadful period of isolation.”
For more information, visit viridianmoon.art.