It is no small feat of endurance in Miami to transition from a burgeoning gallery into one of notoriety. It takes a great deal of time, patience and ingenuity to carve out that much-desired niche in this social stratosphere. An inventive and resourceful soul, however, can bring the dream of running a successful gallery in this city to fruition. This has become reality for the Kelley Roy Gallery, located near the Shops at Midtown.
The gallery first opened its doors in June 2008 and was immediately faced with the arduous task of growing its roots amidst a flailing economy. For some, this might be considered a hurdle too high, but for Susan Kelley and her husband, it was an obstacle to be overcome with perseverance. “Being new for us,” she says, “we’ve been tap dancing and trying to do outreach and build visibility over the past two and a half years. It’s been a stronger challenge than we realized. We have been putting lots of effort into our outreach.”
That outreach is seen most often by the events thrown at the gallery. “The space is conducive to receptions. We have taken advantage of that by hosting various community events.” These come in the traditional form of opening receptions for their shows, which highlight the works of mid-career and experienced American and international artists like Mike Tesch, Henry Lautz and John Henry, as well other, more diverse gatherings, ranging from concerts to charity events. Kelley is eager to expand her event repertoire to use the gallery as a backdrop for other cultural happenings.
In February, the gallery is exhibiting the work of Finnish artist Soile Yli-Mayry, who has shown across the world, mainly throughout Europe and China. Her work displays bright colors that play against the often dark landscape of her home. Following this show in March will be another exhibition that features local, Cuban-born artist Pablo Cano. Some of his older drawings will be on display as well as a new collection of his trademark marionette dolls.
“We look for a past,” says Kelley of the artists she chooses to exhibit. “We have been so fortunate to bring in artists that have a wonderful reputation and following.” Among the many notable pieces that have made their way through the gallery are a number of impressive sculptural works. The medium is one that Kelley is highly interested in and the gallery represents some of the more recognizable names who work in it. These include Sebastian Spring, who will have his second exhibition at the gallery in May, and Dolly Moreno, who won first prize at the Carrousel du Louvre-Paris.
The Kelley Roy Gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. through 5 p.m. as well as by appointment. It is a space worth watching, as many intriguing shows and events have passed through it, and will continue to do so throughout 2011.