by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Barb and Scott Hudson

In 2003, Barbara Hudson, a burgeoning artist and the manager of a large art supply and frame company, said to her husband, Scott, also an artist working as a contractor, “If we are working this hard for so little money, why don’t we work for ourselves?”

Her husband, who had dreamed of opening a gallery since obtaining a business degree in combination with his art degree, agreed. “The timing was right,” he recalled. “And everything just fell into place for us to open our gallery.”

The Hudsons found space in the Promenade Shops on Monroe Street where Hudson translated his building skills into developing a successful framing component of the gallery. The couple also established a reputation for hosting exhibits of local, regional and national artists. “We wanted to provide opportunities for artists to have an outlet for their work along with bringing art to the community,” she reported. “Whenever we sell a painting or work of art, we congratulate the buyer on his or her selection of a piece of art that will bring them joy. And my biggest thrill is writing a check to an artist for his or her work that we have just sold,” she noted.

Three years later, the Hudsons had outgrown their location and moved their gallery to 5645 Main St. in downtown Sylvania in the space that had been occupied by building owner Jeff Unverferth of Unverferth Interiors. “This is an ideal location for us. We wanted to be in downtown Sylvania, close to where we live. We love to walk to work,” Mrs. Hudson reported. “However downtown Sylvania was quite different 12 years ago and our children and others thought we were crazy,” she recalled. “But we were encouraged by Carmen Wigmans of Revé Salon and Spa and her commitment to downtown. We took a leap of faith and it has been worth it,” the Hudsons agreed.

When they first opened their gallery, the Hudsons assumed they would be able to pursue their artistic endeavors. “We thought we could both spend about half of our time in our studio painting and the other half running the gallery,” he laughed. “That just has not happened.”

However, they do find time to help their community. In addition to the demands of making contact with artists, arranging exhibitions and running a retail business and frame shop, the Hudsons continue to find innovative ways to bring neighboring businesses together. They also work to raise the awareness of the importance and significance of art to the community as a whole. Before opening their first gallery, the Hudsons were the driving force behind the Salon Des Refusé in downtown Toledo. While at the Promenade Shops, the Hudsons organized events at Christmas time with other merchants in the center. Soon after opening their gallery on Main Street, they organized Downtown Delights, a holiday and spring interactive shopping event involving downtown Sylvania business owners. “We always see the value of working with other neighbors to build a creative community, which is good for us all,” the Hudsons offered.