Pique Galleria in East Walnut Hills provides platform for new artists

Pique Galleria in East Walnut Hills has set out a very particular mission for itself. The art gallery, located on Woodburn Avenue by DeSales Corner, was launched as a way for new artists to showcase their work.
“For emerging artists, it’s very difficult to get into a gallery,” Jen Sparks, owner of Pique, says. “Most galleries won’t give artists these chances, so they often don’t even know where to start. We wanted to give these artists a leg up.”
Pique, which opened in August 2013, joins the ranks of Manifest Gallery, Hi-Bred, Le Bon Vivant and others that are working to make East Walnut Hills Cincinnati’s newest arts district.
Sparks, who is a neuromuscular therapist by day, hopes that Pique is filling a gap in the arts community that often leaves artists with a Catch-22 of how to begin their professional careers. If this sounds familiar, it’s because Isaac Selya had a very similar revelation about the classical music community in Cincinnati and chose to found Queen City Chamber Opera to fill in a similar gap. (Soapbox covered Selya’s story here.)
Pique also seeks to attract people who are new to buying art, understanding that it can be intimidating at first.
“Not everyone has $10,000 to throw around for original artwork, so we try to keep the price point of the art that we show here at a level that won’t be daunting,” Sparks says. “Anyone can buy art, and I think that everyone should. I think that to fill your home with something that was created and worked on by a local artist is just good for you, it’s good karma.”
Pique’s openings are usually scheduled around the neighborhood’s Walk on Woodburn, a monthly event showcasing East Walnut Hills’ unique personality, similar to Over-the-Rhine/Pendleton’s Final Fridays. The next opening will be January 24, with a show themed around fiber.
“I’m really hoping to grow Pique into a destination in 2014, meet and work with more new artists and continue to strengthen the neighborhood here,” Sparks says.

By Mike Sarason 

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