by Caroline Gabsewics
In the past few months, The Laura Street Gallery has been doing as much as it can to try and get people Downtown. And this month is no different.
Every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the month of July a different workshop is scheduled. The 10 a.m.-2 p.m. workshops are free and some occur in 30 minute increments to fit into work schedules.
Laura Street Gallery was opened four months ago for April’s Art Walk by artists Joanelle Mulrain, Jeff Davis and Rhyan Taylor — all knowing the lease would be up in five months. The three of them said they would see what kind of interest was generated those first five months and if it went well, they would renew the lease.
August is approaching, and since there wasn’t an Art Walk this month, the workshops represent the Gallery’s last push to remain open after August, said Mulrain.
“Because there wasn’t an Art Walk this month we needed a way to increase traffic in the Gallery,” she said. “We are going to see if special events will attract local business people during the lunch hours.”
Mulrain added that many Downtown business people said if workshops were to last 30 minutes, that would give them enough time to leave the office, grab lunch, attend a workshop and get back to the office in an hour.
“It’s a test. We’ll see if people participate,” she said.
The question is, will the artwork sell as a result of these workshops?
“We don’t know what the result will be; we just have to try it,” said Mulrain. “I think we’ve got something here so we’ll see what happens.”
Stephanie Lee, a family friend of Mulrain’s is running the Gallery during the workshops, because all three artists have other jobs.
“If enough people come, Joanelle wants to continue to keep the Gallery open,” said Lee. “It is just another way to get people here and it gives people another reason to come Downtown.”
Mulrain contacted many organizations and businesses to see if they would be interested in holding a workshop at the Gallery. Mulrain booked a variety of different workshops on yoga, cooking, Jacksonville history and more.
Registered Yoga Teacher Karen Roumillat of Mimi’s Yoga held workshops this past Tuesday and Thursday every 30 minutes from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
“This is the first time I have done this kind of thing and I wanted to see the gallery,” she said. “I wanted to reach out to people who work Downtown.”
Roumillat specializes in on-site yoga and she travels to homes, offices, fitness centers or neighborhood club houses. The type of yoga she practices is also a little different, but it is perfect for those who sit at a desk all day. Roumillat offers “desk” yoga that can be done in as little as 10 minutes while sitting at work.
“I focus on three things: breathing, physical posture and relaxation,” she said. “It is important to have mini breaks during the work day.”
For more information on Mimi’s Yoga or to have her come to your workplace call 287-0452 or visit www.mimisyoga.com.
For a few of the events later this month, Mulrain has asked that guests RSVP, because there is only room for 25 in the Gallery. To RSVP to any of the events visit www.laurastreetgallery.com.
Because the workshops are held during the lunch hours, Mulrain has also setup a way for people to bring their lunch to the Gallery. The Burrito Gallery, Chew and Shelby’s will accept take-out orders before 10 a.m. Customers can pick up their lunch then head to the Gallery for a workshop.
The Gallery’s workshops are sponsored by the Bank of North Florida. And, the artwork by Davis, Mulrain and Taylor on the walls is for sale.
Laura Street Gallery workshops
For the rest of the month, every Tuesday and Thursday, Laura Street Gallery is hosting a series of workshops that are free and open to the public. Each event is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. — some in 30 minute increments.
Tuesday - “Discover the SBA-Your Small Business Resource.” Donna Padgug of SBA (Workshop noon-1 p.m., meet/greet 10 a.m.-noon and 1-2 p.m.)
Thursday - “Cooking Demo I: What’s New, What’s Hot in Kitchens!” Alice McCoy, certified kitchen designer (every 30 minutes)
July 17 - “Jacksonville History” Every half hour is a new subject. Emily Lisska, executive director of the Jacksonville Historical Society.
July 19 - “How to Create a Butterfly Garden,” “What Lawn Maintenance Really Means,” “Maximizing your Landscape Through Layering,” “How to Create a Private Oasis.” Julia Canipelli of Julia’s Digs. (10:30 a.m.-Noon and 1-2 p.m.)
- “It’s Your River.” Neil Armingeon, St. Johns Riverkeeper (Noon-1 p.m.)
- “How You Can Become Involved all over the World.” Jacksonville Sister Cities Representative. (10 a.m.-2 p.m.)
July 24 - “How to Get Your Book Published, Promoted and Sold.” Meet Local Authors: Joanelle Mulrain and Jane Wood.
July 26 - “Cooking Demo II: Fall into Fall with a New Kitchen and/or Renovated One.” Alice McCoy, certified kitchen designer.
July 30 - Jacksonville artists present “For the Love of Painting.” (Every 30 minutes.)