Displayed on the walls of the Gorant candy store in Austintown are paintings by various local artists. The gallery is run by Austintown Gorant store owner Lori Gavalier and Joyce Gottron.
By Elise Franco
You don’t have to travel to a big city to find a one-of-a-kind art gallery filled with one-of-a-kind pieces.
Lori Gavalier, of Austintown, opened Yum Yum Tree by Gorant Chocolatier at 5539 Mahoning Ave., in late 2010 and promised the candy shop would be unique.
Aside from the sweets and treats, Gavalier and Joyce Gottron, former township parks supervisor and gallery proprietor, put together an in-house art gallery featuring more than a dozen local artists.
“Joyce and I were talking about our passion for art,” Gavalier said. “There’s no place around here that has local artists’ work for sale, so we said, ‘Lets try it.’”
Gottron said the gallery, named Changing Moon Images after her photography venture, is a mixture of different styles of art — photography, painting, sketching, pottery, stained glass, wood-work and jewelry-making — at a price residents would be willing to pay.
The gallery features work from about 15 artists ranging from ages 22 to 85, said Gottron, who has been practicing photography for three decades.
She said most of the artwork is $100 and below, but some larger pieces, such as a wall-sized abstract canvas painting by Chelsea Kusky, is a bit pricier.
Kusky, 28, who owns a photography and design business in Hartville, said she jumped at the opportunity to have her work displayed in the gallery.
“It helps me get my art work out there instead of it sitting in the basement collecting dust,” she said. “That was really [Gottron’s] basis of doing the gallery. So many artists have no place to show their work.”
Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Gavalier said the gallery is doing well, and she thinks the draw has to do with the uniqueness of the art displayed.
“We wanted something classy and culturistic,” she said. “We have photographs taken in different parts of the world … It’s like bringing Venice into your own home.”
Kusky said she’s not surprised the gallery has seen success.
“To be able to have a place in such a great location and to have all this work displayed, it will really bring in more than just the art collecting kind of people,” she said.