Bringing art to Dinkytown

A gallery opened earlier this month in the University area and features a collection of rock ’n’ roll-themed pieces.

Sherri Faye, owner of Imagine Arts Studio, works on a comic strip piece on Saturday. The studio opened on September 10 and is currently showcasing original art and reproductions of iconic rock and roll pieces by various artists.

Sam Harper

Sherri Faye, owner of Imagine Arts Studio, works on a comic strip piece on Saturday. The studio opened on September 10 and is currently showcasing original art and reproductions of iconic rock and roll pieces by various artists.

Sadman Rahman

Among the bars and restaurants lining Dinkytown streets, a new gallery is looking to bring artistic culture back to the University of Minnesota area.
Imagine Art Studio and Gallery, which opened Sept. 10 in the University Baptist Church on University Avenue Southeast, hosts artwork created by different local artists and will rotate collections monthly, owner and curator Sherri Faye  said. 
 
The gallery has a collection of portraits of rock ’n’ roll icons, named “Come Together,” currently on display, Faye said. She said switching out the artwork often makes the gallery more vibrant than others with permanent exhibitions. 
 
“I think that they risk becoming stagnant,” Faye said. “There are people who succeed at that, but that is not my vision.”
 
A Dinkytown local, Faye has contributed her art expertise to surrounding businesses, including a 2006 mural featuring Jimi Hendrix outside Burrito Loco painted in collaboration with University students and a mural outside Tony’s Diner, she said.
 
While the location currently acts solely as a gallery, Faye said she plans to host classes next summer for students enrolled in the University’s art department.
 
The gallery will also host book signings, music performances and exhibitions of a variety of artistic forms, she said, adding that she hopes that the studio and gallery will help promote local arts.
 
“Having lived there in the ’70s, it was a creative cultural touchstone, and to some degree, there is still that,” Faye said.
 
Local restaurants like the Purple Onion Cafe and Espresso Royale exhibit local art each month, but don’t advertise it, she said.
 
The new gallery sells art for a range of prices, including smaller-sized reproductions that are more affordable for college students, she said.
 
Dinkytown Business Alliance coordinator Katie Thering said the new gallery brings in a more diverse crowd to the neighborhood, and could help surrounding food businesses by utilizing their catering.
 
“It’d be great to have businesses that kind of fill in gaps that we don’t already have there,” she said.
 
Thering said she hopes the new venture will appeal both to students and alumni, as well as people who are visiting Dinkytown for the first time.
 
“It’s exciting to have something that we don’t already have here,” she said.
 
Though Imagine Art is currently the only art gallery in Dinkytown, Thering said diversity in businesses, like adding another gallery, could help to better serve more art-lovers. 
 
Only a handful of students have visited the gallery so far, but Faye said she hopes her store will grow in popularity.
 
“Even if you go there now, a month from now you’ll see something different,” she said.