New owners set gallery opening party

 In today’s online world of digital imagery overload, are art galleries still relevant? Absolutely. The new owners of Lucky Street Gallery, Betty Gay and Jon McIntosh are poised to prove it. Gay, a photographer and installation artist, and McIntosh, an illustrator, painter and graphic designer, are focusing their knowledge and passion into bringing the next generation of Key West art to Lucky Street.

“Our goal was to keep the legacy of Lucky Street as a Key West institution,” said McIntosh, “and create a space that was truly a premier gallery.” The newly renovated gallery is a former Cuban bakery on White Street. Gay and McIntosh waited a year for the building to be finished envisioning what is now a reality. With an industrial cement floor and high white walls, it is comparable to any New York gallery and can only do art justice.

“It’s a gallery where established artists can step outside their boundaries, and new artists can find a place in Key West,” said Gay. The room itself can be adjusted and altered for installation works, large paintings and group shows creating a variety of options for art.

Gay and McIntosh, at first glance, may seem a mismatched duo. Gay, a West Virginia native, has the youthful flair, while McIntosh, with his Boston roots, has the creative experience. They met by chance working for Lucky Street’s former owner, Sandra McMannis, and partnered to buy the gallery when it came up for sale. The owners vary in artistic tastes but complement each other with their humor, wit and zealousness for the arts promising to make future shows more interesting than not.

“We want to be a more forward looking gallery,” said McIntosh, “but we also know it’s not just about putting art on the walls but in people’s homes.” The owners both agree that service and attending to the 35 years of loyal customers will be a main priority.

Lucky Street has been the home to Key West’s most prestigious artists such as John Martini, Michael Haykin and Roberta Marks and now, they are welcoming younger artists such as sculptor Brett Kern and painter Seth Smith that are new the Key West art scene. The opening party set for Feb 16th’s Night On White may see a city official or two for a champagne toast and as always, exceptional art on display.

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