Lee's Summit Journal

GOT Art Gallery in Lee’s Summit has a new look. Its goal is to educate, enlighten

It was renovated, rebranded and reimagined. Last week, GOT Art Gallery on Third welcomed the community to an unveiling of its new space.

An exhibit featuring the work of 30 local and regional artists highlighted the celebration of this transformation, initiated eight weeks ago.

A change in management presented an opportunity to re-envision the gallery operations, said Jody Fristoe, interim gallery director and Summit Art Festival director.

Beginning in May, Summit Art board and committee members reviewed and revised the gallery business plan, which now includes a greater focus on sales of fine art and high-quality artisan work. The website is being redesigned with user-friendly online payment and scheduling options, and the space will be available to rent for private events.

The gallery’s physical space also received a makeover. The original, 19th-century brick walls were cleaned, sealed and preserved. Floors were stripped, repainted and sealed. In addition, the gallery space was expanded and the classroom setting was re-configured.

Bob and Linda Netterville, owners of the gallery building, founded GOT Art in 2010. The couple established the gallery in memory of their son Ryan, who dreamed of becoming an artist. In 2011, the Nettervilles formed a partnership with Summit Art and the organization then took over gallery operations.

“It’s been an extraordinary team effort of Summit Art volunteers, in collaboration with the Nettervilles, to renovate and remodel the historic space,” Fristoe said.

Community-focused since opening, the gallery is dedicated to enriching the area’s cultural landscape through art exhibits, education and professional artist development.

“We welcome people of all ages and walks of life, regardless of art experience,” Fristoe said. “We want to expose as many people to the visual arts as possible.”

Though recent gallery renovations have been comprehensive, the re-envisioning has remained aligned with this original mission.

Board and committee member focused their greatest attention on visual art education.

“Our classes are for people of all ages and abilities to practice and learn more about the visual arts,’ Fristoe said, “However, now we’ll now offer more opportunities dedicated to professional artists’ development, so we can help our artists reach their creative and business goals.”

Phil Schmidt, painter and member of the gallery’s planning committee, is a passionate advocate for this expanded professional training.

“Over the last few years, the gallery has focused on providing classes which have been, essentially, painting parties,” he said.

“Now, we’ll offer classes and workshops by nationally known art instructors in marketing and art topics, such as composition and theory. There will be more of a focus on art education, (rather) than art as entertainment.”