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When most people think of art galleries, you might think of snooty critics in Paris or New York sipping on wine and bidding thousands of dollars on mostly blank canvases. That’s exactly what Kate Ukrop wanted to avoid when she opened Richmond’s Quirk Gallery with her husband Ted in 2005. They chose "Quirk" as a gallery name to encourage curiosity and whimsy. The gallery also added a gift shop, similar to what could be found at an exhibit in an art museum. Quirk Gallery quickly became a hot spot for local artists to showcase and sell their art.
The gallery's success allowed the Ukrops to open a boutique hotel in 2015 under the same name. They moved the gallery right next door, and the hotel lobby offers an entrance to the gallery. Quirk continues to showcase multiple artists in its gallery every month. Not only can visitors purchase the artwork, but the gallery shop also carries Quirk-centric products that live up to its name (boyfriend-smelling candles, anyone?)
As you move around the space, you'll notice that the muted colors, abundant white space, and clean lines give a minimalistic and elegant feel. The building that houses the Quirk Hotel and Quirk Gallery was originally the luxury department store J.B. Mosby & Co and it was constructed in 1916. The Ukrops took the building's history to heart when they transformed the space, keeping many of the original architectual details. Combined with artisan dining and beautiful sitting areas in its lobby, the Quirk Gallery is a perfect place for anyone who loves aesthetically pleasing environments.
Post photo from @annakardosphoto via Instagram.