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Gallery prides itself on a big heART

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Photo by Pat Sunderland Ann and Fred Honchell invite you to stop by the art and collectibles showcased in their new venture, Gallery de la Luz. The Honchells are sharing space with Chile Pepper Pottery at the corner of 1st and Palmer. "It's a nice blend,"

Chile Pepper Pottery, located at the corner of 1st and Palmer in Delta, is now sharing space with a new business. Fred and Ann Honchell have opened Gallery de la Luz, an artist's studio where both can express their creative talents while showcasing artwork produced by other area residents. The Honchells also accept consignments of art and collectibles, particularly items from the '50s.

Fred Honchell is a well-known watercolor artist who uses vivid colors to capture local landscapes. Ann is using her experience as a costume designer to transform ties into stylish covers for stools, ottomans and benches.

Both previously worked from home, but now enjoy having a working studio that, for Fred, is warm (his workspace at home is unheated). For Ann, there are fewer household distractions and she enjoys interacting with artists, collectors and customers.

Many of the items currently on display come from Ann herself, who has collected jewelry, '50s memorabilia and household items made of anodyzed aluminum.

Hanging on the walls are many of Fred's beautiful watercolors, as well as pieces of art by Mary Key and other members of Delta Fine Arts. John York has put together a display of knives he's crafted from used saw blades paired with handles of natural, local materials.

Ann explains the "de la Luz" in the gallery's name is meaningful on several levels. It was her grandmother's middle name, and it seemed fitting recognition for a woman who Ann said was always very supportive of her creative efforts.

Second, "de la luz" means "of the light" in Spanish. The interplay of light and dark is an essential element of art. Ann says the light should also be allowed to shine on the many talented artists in the community. "We need more of them stepping out of the shadows to share their art," she explained.

She hopes Gallery de la Luz will be a place where people can gather, much as they do at the Blue Sage in Paonia or the Creamery in Hotchkiss. "This is a place for people to be," she said, "a place for people to stop in, to sit and chat, to bring their art."

Art classes, receptions and edible art classes will help make Gallery de la Luz the gathering spot Ann envisions. "There's so much potential. It's going to be cool," she said.

The "Little Gallery with a Big HeART" is open Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and can be reached by calling 209-5293.

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