Paintings. Collages. Mosaics. Photography. Glasswork. Drawings. Walking Sticks. Books. Jewelry. Leatherwork. Pottery.
These are all things that ignite Mary Fuller’s passion for art. For years, she’s had a vision of bringing artists from the Four Corners together into dedicated fine art gallery.
In 2020, after various careers in both the education and nonprofit sector, she decided that it was time to make her dream a reality.
Being a former teacher, Mary understood the value of education. So, she enrolled in the SBDC’s Launching Your Business Workshop with Cindi Dvergsten. “Her knowledge was amazing! After the class, I had two meetings with her. Both were very valuable.”
Then, the pandemic struck, and Mary suddenly needed a lot of patience to get her gallery off the ground. Contractors were spread thin, and it took much longer than she could have anticipated to open the doors.
But, at long last, open they did!
The Turquoise Raven Art Gallery, located right on Main Street in Cortez, has now been open for one month.
The gallery is bright and airy, giving it a museum feel. The walls aren’t crowded with art; instead, each piece stands alone. Scattered throughout the gallery, you’ll find furniture and chess tables. This allows visitors to relax and take their time to get to know each piece of art.
So, how did she come up with the gallery’s name?
“Turquoise has significance in this area. Ravens are so intelligent, rambunctious, mischievous, and bold. It just sat right.”
A group of ravens is called an unkindness, which gave Mary the creative idea for the first exhibit title. She loves being part of the local art community, and some of the local artists have been instrumental in helping her get up and running. Some have been in galleries throughout the country and have been able to offer excellent advice.
Moving forward, Mary’s vision is to continue to create a market for local artists, so their work becomes collectible and appreciated. She also wants to build up young artists by helping them get into the professional art business. “I really want people in this area to be promoted by a gallery, and I want tourists to know that we are here. Montezuma County has numerous artists, and many bring talent, dedication and passion that has previously been unknown.”
Although she had originally planned to open during the summer, Mary is thrilled to be open in time for the holidays. In the coming months, she plans to host a number of small events, including artist talks, literary talks, workshops, art classes, and more. Once everything is running smoothly, she will host a grand opening.
Mary knows that the SBDC played a vital role in getting the Turquoise Raven Art Gallery up and running, and she encourages every prospective entrepreneur to take the SBDC’s class. “Recently, a young man came into the gallery, and I told him to take it when it’s available! There is so much to starting a business. The class gets you into that mindset of thinking that way; it’s important!”