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Promoting local artists

The Gallery at Prospect Jewelers
showcases area art talent

By Ruth Wright
Staff Writer

PROSPECT, Ky. (January 2003) – An expansion of Prospect Jewelers last year created an opportunity for partners Rob Prince and Terry Chambers to go into a new direction with their store. They have turned the walls into an art gallery.
The new addition, called The Gallery at Prospect Jewelers, offers unique artwork by local craftsmen in the area. And if dazzling jewelry and trinkets aren’t inviting enough, the store has provided area patrons with even more reasons to stop by and check out the wares.

Rob Prince and Terry Chambers

Rob Prince and
Terry Chambers

The owners decided to showcase fine art in addition to jewelry from the time they first opened the business in September 2000. At that time, they displayed the works of two local artists and began putting the word out that they were looking for others.
Prince, who has always been interested in art and has had many friends who were artists, said that he wanted to create an attractive venue where artists could showcase their works.
“It’s been really nice to bring all of the additional artists and to have the space to do that,” Prince said.
The Gallery showcases a diverse selection of artwork by local individuals. The pieces on display are one-of-a-kind and are created by the artists themselves, most of who are friends and acquaintances of the owners.
Caroline Elgin and Jerry Thomas displayed their pieces at Prospect Jewelers before The Gallery was added. Elgin, who works in watercolors, is a long-time friend of Chambers. Her most popular work has been equestrian pieces.
Thomas is a photographer who draws inspiration for his photographs from people, animals and nature. Thomas works with both black-and-white and color photography and creates unusual matting using a reverse color technique.
Five other local artists have displayed their works at the gallery. Fritz Hilton, a retired University of Louisville professor, paints with acrylics and oils. Hilton takes yearly trips to Africa for inspiration and many of his paintings include African wildlife. David Kocka is a bronze sculptor. He lives near Corydon, Ind., where he has his own foundry. Jan Sowder from Jeffersonville, Ind., has a quilting background that she has used to inspire her unique fabric landscapes.
Debbie Joplin from Crestwood, Ky., creates silk paintings and vessels and glass sculptures and jewelry. Dennis Stein from Louisville works mostly with black and white photography. He is a graduate of Trinity High School, where he began studying photography and plans to continue his studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.
“Each artist that we bring in brings a whole new energy to the space,” said Prince. “It’s been very fun to connect with all of these people.”
Prince and Chambers plan to add more artists to the line-up in the future.
“There’s been a huge interest in the community,” said Chambers. “People have really loved it.”
The partners credit much of the gallery’s success to the good reputation of the jewelry store, which they feel is customer service oriented.
“We live here in Prospect, and we look at our customers as our neighbors,” Chambers said.

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