Jenanne Bull is the former RN&R advertising coordinator. Two months ago, she and her husband, Rob, purchased Gallery Chateau Décor, 787-3577, in Mayberry Landing mall. Many longtime readers will recognize her as the bride with the M-16 model for our gay marriage cover story (“Protecting marriage,” Aug. 15, 2002). Never ones to let a friend remain unsnooped for long, we dropped into the snazzy little shop for a chat.
Tell me about your store.
Gallery Chateau Décor meets a need in Reno that’s currently not being met by art galleries, which is large, hand-painted oil paintings on canvas that are created by hand, not by mechanical means and are not limited editions and not famous artists. People can have large, beautiful oil paintings in their home, and not break the bank.
Is this something you were interested in before you bought the business, or how did that come about?
I’ve always been interested in art. I worked for an artist previous to my business, and I realized at that point that I wanted to remain in the art business at some level. When the opportunity presented itself, [buying the business] seemed like the right thing to do.
Does the economy worry you? Is now the right time to do this?
The worries are always there. The way I justify it is, yes, owning your own business is risky, especially in the art décor business, but everything is risky right now. I could work for a 100-year-old company, and it would still be risky.
How do you choose what’s going to hang on the walls in here? Where does all this stuff come from?
What do you mean?
Do you go to the artists?
The way that we work is we work through art brokers who have several artists who work with them, and they bring to us the different things that the artists are producing right now, both popular art and art that they’ve copied from the famous masters. We go through several hundred paintings, and we choose the ones we think are appropriate for Reno’s tastes and Reno’s changing tastes. The tastes seem to change on a monthly basis.
What’s hot right now, landscapes?
Right now, people are very into the Tuscan look. There are a lot of Mediterranean scenes, and French Provincial is very in. But with all the California influence, contemporary modern art is in high demand, and that’s an area we’d like to expand into.
Do Reno people think the prices are OK?
Ninety-nine percent of the time, I get the reaction of, “It’s a wonderful price.” [Highest priced work is $2,000]. People come in here expecting to see much higher prices on the paintings, and the reason they are not is because it’s not limited edition, and we’re not selling the artist, we’re selling the art.
Have people who come in here bought art before? Do they know what their tastes are or do you have to help them?
Both. Some people are very particular, and they want to stay within the realms of their artistic taste. Some people come in, and it’s like “Art for Dummies.” I’m perfectly happy to help them; I even go out to their homes, looking at it and generating ideas with them.
What else should I ask?
In one sentence, how would you sum up what your gallery is about?
Gallery Chateau Décor is art for the rest of us.