Entrepreneur showcases artwork in new gallery on Lakewood Main Street.
East County’s Jennifer Perry might not be able to create a work of art, but she said she knows how to sell one.
Her business sense led her to open J&J Gallery on Lakewood Main Street in August.
“Even though I am not very educated in art, I am educated in how to work for these artists, how to build their name brand and make this gallery different,” Perry said. “That is what I love about being a business owner. You have to be different, you have to stand out.”
Perry has owned nail salons and gift shops in the Washington, D.C., area, but she thought Main Street at Lakewood Ranch was a perfect setting for an art gallery. She also is getting help from her mother, Judy Glimer, formerly the owner of St. Armands Art Gallery, who is serving as her art director.
Perry will take care of business and marketing and Glimer will take care of the art.
“Lakewood Ranch is still growing,” Perry said. “There are a lot of people here who want fine art, but do not necessarily want to go to Sarasota for it. It’s nice to bring it into their backyard, right where they are decorating these new homes.”
Perry said she will develop her gallery so it appeals to a wide range of incomes and ages.
“We have million-dollar homes here, median-income homes, and then we 20-year-olds who have brand new apartments across the street,” Perry said. “I want to appeal to all of them.”
Her gallery will display the work of local artists, who will pay the gallery to display their art. Perry will in turn do her best to display and market their work.
“It’s pretty much running their business for them,” she said. “I do everything based on what’s good for them, and in turn, it keeps us in business. I am promoting them. If I can help them grow, then they will want to continue being a member. They stay, and then we are all happy.”
As art director, Glimer reviews potential member applications and reviews their art.
“Looking at art is something that comes naturally to me,” Glimer said. “I look for professionalism, quality, but I’m also looking for the right type of art for the new homes in the area.”
Glimer said she enjoys working with the artists.
“Artists have a certain personality and flair,” Glimer said. “I love to be around art. It makes me feel good when I work with artists because they are so creative.”